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Civil Rights and Race Relations in America and Their Impact on the Lives of African Americans
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Just hours after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, LDF Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill debated the ongoing need for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act with the Heritage Foundation's Han van Spakovsky on PBS' News Hour. The discussion was moderated by PBS host Judy Woodruff.
Once again, race is front and center at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. And once again, the bull's eye is the 1965 Voting Rights Act, widely viewed as the most effective and successful civil rights legislation in American history. Upheld five times by the court, the law now appears to be on life support.
LDF Lawyer Discusses Supreme Court Argument Concerning the Voting Rights Act on Politics Nation w/ Rev. Al Sharpton2/27/13
The Supreme Court almost never says why it refuses to take a case. On Monday, however, when the court denied a petition from the man convicted in Calhoun v. United States, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Stephen Breyer, issued a rare explanatory statement.
The Washington Post editorial, "The Voting Rights Act's work isn't finished," lauds the Act as "one of this country's foremost accomplishments." The editorial also recognizes that the VRA's objective -- to "stamp out the varied and shifting strategies local officials used to prevent African Americans from voting" -- includes blocking continued efforts by officials to dilute minority voting strength. It is, as LDF's brief contends, "new poison in old bottles."