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Fifty years ago this week, Alabama Governor George Wallace defiantly stood in the schoolhouse door at the and refused to admit Vivian Malone and James Hood because of their race. NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund (LDF) Director-Counsel Jack Greenberg and legendary LDF lawyer Constance Baker Motley represented the two young African American students and obtained a federal court order granting them admission to the University. Wallace fought their admission vigorously, and on the day of the students’ registration, set the stage for one of the most dramatic events in civil rights history.
Today, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. released a new video highlighting the racial discrimination in the Texas death penalty system and the shocking case of death-sentenced prisoner, Duane Buck. Mr. Buck was sentenced to death in Harris County (Houston), Texas, after his trial prosecutor elicited testimony from a psychologist indicating that Mr. Buck was more likely to be dangerous because he is Black. The video was produced by award-winning documentary filmmakers Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler.
Statement of Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is pleased that President Obama has nominated three distinguished individuals to fill longstanding vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. LDF has repeatedly called upon President Obama and the Senate to expeditiously nominate and confirm judges who bring racial and professional diversity to the courts. With these nominations, President Obama has answered that call with nominees who bring both diversity and excellence to this important court. We look forward to their swift confirmation by the Senate
William T. Coleman Jr., former chairman of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s board of directors, was awarded the 2013 Harvard Medal from the Harvard Alumni Association for his extraordinary service to the University. The Harvard Medal marks yet another achievement in Bill Coleman’s remarkable career, which has been defined, in part, by groundbreaking accomplishments in the struggle for civil rights and his long-time, unyielding commitment to LDF and its mission.