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Vigilance in the Defense of Liberty and Freedom
Fried Frank Fellow
Leah C. Aden joined LDF's staff in February 2012 as a NAACP LDF Fried Frank Fellow in the Political Participation Group, which promotes the full, equal, and active participation of Black people in the democratic process through legal, legislative, public education, and other advocacy tools.
At LDF, Leah represents Black and other people of color in challenges to voting discrimination under Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Under Section 2, Leah currently represents Black voters in a challenge to Fayette County, Georgia’s at-large method of electing members to the County Board of Commissioners and Board of Education in Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, et al., v. Fayette County Board of Commissioners, et al. In that case, LDF challenges the use of at-large voting on the ground that this method, in combination with racially polarized voting, has prevented Black voters from ever electing a candidate of their choice to either board.
Under Section 5, Leah recently successfully represented Black voters in South Carolina v. United States, in which a three-judge federal court rejected South Carolina’s request to implement its discriminatory photo identification law for the 2012 Presidential election. Leah also is a member of LDF’s litigation team in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, defending the constitutionality of Section 5 before the United States Supreme Court.
Prior to joining LDF, Leah was a litigation associate in the New York office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP. At Fried Frank, Leah represented clients in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. She also previously served as a fellow at the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she focused on public education issues, including school desegregation and education adequacy litigation. Leah served as a law clerk to the Honorable John T. Nixon of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Leah received her J.D. from Howard University School of Law and B.A. in History and African-American Studies from Columbia University.