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Vigilance in the Defense of Liberty and Freedom
A group of seven prominent national civil rights organizations that includes The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to support the retroactive application of a new set of sentencing guidelines that accompany the implementation of the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA), which reduced the discriminatory sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses.
The State of New York filed a very perfunctory rebuttal to the Senate GOP’s legal challenge to “prison gerrymandering,” and now a group of outside organizations — including the NAACP, Common Cause and VOCAL-NY — wants to intervene on the state’s behalf.
From a court filing yesterday:
5/17/11Related Case or Issue:
Voters and Community Groups Intervening in Suit to Ensure that All New Yorkers Are Equally Represented in State and Local Legislatures
Albany, NY – Today, top civil rights organizations filed a motion in New York Supreme Court asking to intervene to help defend New York’s new law allocating people in prison to their home communities for redistricting and reapportionment.
Today marks the fifty-seventh anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v.
Thousands of New York prisoners are being set free - from being counted in upstate Republicans' state Senate districts.
Under the federal Voting Rights Act, the Department of Justice has just approved counting inmates in their hometowns - not where they're locked up - for the purposes of political redistricting.
The decision is a blow to lawmakers who have been counting on the captive audience to bolster their population counts - even while those behind bars can't cast a vote.