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Civil Rights and Race Relations in America and Their Impact on the Lives of African Americans
Friday, March 1, 2013
On Wednesday, February 27, 2013, Debo P. Adegbile of the NAACP Legal and Educational Defense Fund, Inc. (LDF) presented oral argument on behalf of defendant-intervenors in the Supreme Court in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, one of the most important civil rights cases in a generation. Shelby County seeks to destroy the core of the Voting Rights Act, by removing a provision that requires states and jurisdictions with the worst histories of voting discrimination, such as Alabama, to have all voting changes reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice or the D.C. District Court to ensure they are free from discrimination. This provision of the Act, known as Section 5, puts the burden of ending voting discrimination on cities, towns and states, rather than on the victims of discrimination. For this reason the Voting Rights Act has widely been regarded as one of the greatest pieces of civil rights legislation ever enacted. United States Solicitor General Donald Verrilli presented oral argument on behalf of the United States.