NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

Program Work

Employment Discrimination

Abercrombie & Fitch Employment Discrimination

In June 2003, LDF filed a class action lawsuit, Gonzalez v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, against national clothing retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, charged that in addition to selling so-called "classic" looks, Abercrombie...

Capital Punishment

Abu-Jamal v. Beard

Mumia Abu-Jamal is currently serving a life sentence for the 1981 murder of a policeman in Philadelphia. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) submitted a friend of the court brief, and presented oral argument, in support of Mr. Abu-Jamal’s claim of discrimination in...


Access to Courts

Much of our nation’s progress toward the Constitutional aspiration of a “more perfect Union” occurred because ordinary people have had ready access to litigate worthy but often novel or difficult-to-prove cases in our courts.  Recently, however, a pair of Supreme Court...

Access to Justice

AT&T Mobility LLC v. Vincent and Liza Concepcion

In October 2010, LDF filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Vincent and Liza Concepcion.  This case addresses the lawfulness of class-action bans.  Corporations are increasingly using this novel type of contractual provision...

The War on Drugs

Bad Times in Tulia, Texas

An African-American Community in Texas is Victimized by the
"War on Drugs"

On July 23, 1999, more than ten percent of Tulia's African-American population was arrested as the result of a drug "sting" conducted by a lone police officer...

Employment Discrimination

Baltimore Longshoremen Case

In 2011, LDF began representing a group of nine African-American longshoremen, members of International Longshoremen’s Union, Local 333 who work on the Port of Baltimore, one of the busiest and fastest growing ports in the country.  The longshoremen filed charges with the U.S. Equal...

Transportation Justice

Baltimore Red Line

While equal employment opportunity is manifestly important for economic justice, the ability to travel to and from work is just as crucial. Inadequate transportation access is one of myriad impediments to job access for African Americans and one that is often caused by discriminatory government...

Fair Housing and Lending

Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami and Wells Fargo & Co. v. City of Miami

On June 28, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States granted and consolidated two cases about whether the City of Miami can sue for predatory and discriminatory lending practices. These...


Banks v. St. James Parish School Board

On January 31, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman entered a consent order submitted by LDF on behalf of Black parents in Banks v. St. James Parish School Board, a school...

Barriers to Voting

Barriers to Voting

“Democracy thrives when it is practiced, not prevented.”     – LDF President and Director-Counsel, John Payton

LDF has a longstanding history of advocating for an inclusive democracy that represents all Americans. We believe voting is one of...