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John Payton, who died on March 22 at the age of 65, had an infectious optimism and confidence that made all good things not simply possible but probable. As the leader of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc., John reset the odds in the fight for equality.
Last week the world lost one of its most revered and effective legal warriors in the battle for civil rights: John A. Payton, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. President Barack Obama said in a statement, "The legal community has lost a legend, and while we mourn John's passing, we will never forget his courage and fierce opposition to discrimination in all its forms." We asked his friends and colleagues to share their sentiments, as well.
Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of our dear friend John Payton. As president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, John led the organization’s involvement in five Supreme Court cases. A true champion of equality, he helped protect civil rights in the classroom and at the ballot box. The legal community has lost a legend, and while we mourn John's passing, we will never forget his courage and fierce opposition to discrimination in all its forms.
Civil rights groups cheered the news that the Justice Department would look into the case of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen shot by a man on neighborhood watch in Sanford, Fla.
But the bar for the Justice Department to make a federal case is high. Ultimately, it has few options at its disposal when it comes to investigating the teen's death.
3/20/12Related Case or Issue:
Houston, Texas—Yesterday, the Texas League of Young Voters Education Fund and Black college students at Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern universities filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit to prevent the implementation of a discriminatory photo ID law, and defend the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.