Sunday, May 10, 2009

NAACP LDF defends the Voting Rights act before the Supreme Court

On April 29th, the United States Supreme Court, in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District One v. Holder, heard a constitutional challenge to Section 5, a core provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In the most recent voting rights cases of our time, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund presented argument in defense of Section 5, the heart of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 requires a select number of jurisdictions with a history of discrimination in voting submit new voting changes to the Department of Justice or a federal court before they can take effect. A small, Texas-based utility district filed the case seeking to end its responsibility for having its voting changes reviewed but more significantly to have the preclearance provision of the Act declared unconstitutional. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the suit last spring, finding Congress well within its authority to renew this key provision of the Voting Rights Act in light of significant evidence of ongoing voting discrimination in the jurisdictions where the law applies.

CLICK HERE to listen to the oral argument in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder.

CLICK HERE to watch LDF attorneys field questions on the importance of this case ., (LDF segment begins at 3:55)

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