NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

News Updates

  • 25 Years Later, McCleskey Decision Still Fosters Racism by Ignoring It


    Few cases involving the intersection of race, criminal law, and procedure have had the reach and impact of McCleskey v. Kemp, a United States Supreme Court decision decided 25 years ago, on April 22, 1987. This decision set the stage for more than 20 years of dramatically increasing racial disparities within the criminal justice system.


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  • Continuing the Conversation: Family and Friends Celebrate the Life of John Payton


    The multiple doors to the cavernous grand hall on the third floor of the Washington Convention Center were opened early Monday afternoon and a multitude of people poured in from the realms of law, government, the judiciary, academia, and social justice organizations in the U.S. and abroad.

  • LDF Seeks to Join Fight Against South Carolina’s Discriminatory Photo ID Law


    Columbia, South Carolina—Today, the South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and individual Black college students moved to join a lawsuit to prevent the implementation of South Carolina’s discriminatory voting law.

  • John Payton Left a Lasting Mark


    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.

  • Friends Recall a Giant of Civil Rights Law


    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.