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

Political Participation Cases and Issues

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Program Work

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...

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Voting Rights Act

Chisom v. Jindal

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) filed a friend of the court brief in Chisom v. Jindal, in support of claims that Justice Bernette Johnson is next in line to succeed the current chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, becoming the first African-American chief...

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Census

Count on Change

In  2009, LDF launched Count on Change 2010, a national education campaign to ensure that African-Americans were fairly counted in the 2010 Census. Focusing on Black communities that faced the greatest risk of omission from the census, ...

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Felon Disfranchisement

Farrakhan v. Gregoire

Farrakhan v. Gregoire raises the question as to whether  Washington State's felon disfranchisement law violates Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act.  Section 2 prohibits states from using any voting qualification that results in a denial of the right to vote on...

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Barriers to Voting | Voting Rights Act

Florida v. United States

The State of Florida filed Florida v. United States, a lawsuit that asks a federal court to approve, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the implementation four proposed voting changes.

Because these proposed changes, if approved by the court, would be harmful to Florida’s...

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Voting Rights Act

Georgia State Conference NAACP, et al. v. Fayette County Board of Commissioners, et al.

Widely considered the crown jewel of American democracy, the Voting Rights Act is the most effective tool for protecting voters of color against voting methods that weaken their voting strength.  As a remedy, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act provides for the creation of single-...

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Voting Rights Act

Georgia v. Holder

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) represents African-American voters and organizations dedicated to the registration of African-American and other minority voters in Georgia v. Holder, a lawsuit filed by the State of Georgia. Georgia is a jurisdiction covered under Section 5 of the...

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Barriers to Voting

Herring v. Marion County Election Board

On October 24, 2008, LDF settled a lawsuit filed just two days earlier, and designed to protect the voting rights of foreclosure victims. The suit, Herring v. Marion County Election Board, was filed in Indiana state court to ensure that eligible voters who may have faced the threat of...

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Voter Protection

Landmark: Smith v. Allwright

In Smith v. Allwright, Thurgood Marshall rose in front of the United States Supreme Court to argue that Texas’s Democratic primary system allowed whites to structurally dominate the politics of the one-party South. Specifically, the case presented the question of whether the...

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Prison-Based Gerrymandering

Little v. LATFOR

Last year, New York enacted legislation (known as “Part XX”) ending the practice known as “prison-based gerrymandering,” and realigning the state’s redistricting practices with basic principles of equality.

“Prison-based gerrymandering” is a practice whereby many states and local...

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