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

Landmark Cases

Program Work


Landmark: Brown v. Board of Education

May 17, 1954 marks a defining moment in the history of the United States.  On that day, the Supreme Court declared  the doctrine of  “separate but equal” unconstitutional and handed LDF  the most celebrated victory in its storied history.

Although the Supreme Court’s...

Employment Discrimination

Listen to Jack Greenberg Make History Arguing Griggs v Duke Power at SCOTUS

In 1971, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Griggs v. Duke Power, which transformed our nation’s work places.  As a result of LDF’s advocacy, the Supreme Court embraced a powerful legal tool – now known as the “disparate impact” framework – that has proved essential in...

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...

Capital Punishment

Landmark: McCleskey v. Kemp

Few cases involving the intersection of race, criminal law, and procedure have had the reach and impact of McCleskey v. Kemp.  The Supreme Court’s decision in McCleskey protected criminal justice laws and policies from being challenged on the basis of racially...