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Updated Aug. 14, 1 p.m.: The chorus calling for the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the University of Texas at Austin's current policy allowing race to be a factor in admissions decisions has been joined by the family of Heman Sweatt, who was famously denied access to the University of Texas School of Law in 1946 because he was black.
"On this anniversary, we recognize that the Voting Rights Act embodies the highest ideals and commitments of our shared democratic values," said Debo P. Adegbile, LDF's Acting President and Director-Counsel. "These values endure as does America's commitment to them. All Americans are entitled to express their voice with their votes, and the Voting Rights Act continues to stand for this proposition."
In what seems her natural state, Christina Swarns is as sweetly plainspoken and easygoing as a kindergarten teacher, which, decidedly, she is not.
Seated across a conference table in a corner-view meeting room on the 16th floor of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund offices in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, Swarns brightens another 100 watts when mentioning a collect call the day before from a client she helped get off death row four years ago—someone “near and dear to my heart.”
On July 12, 2012, the United States District Court of the Western District of Louisiana ruled in favor of LDF’s clients in Thomas v. St. Martin Parish School Board, denying the school board’s motions to dismiss this long-standing Louisiana school desegregation case.