On February 22, 2013, Ryan Haygood , Director of LDF's Political Participation Group, discussed Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder , on Up w/ Chris Hayes on MSNBC. Shelby County, Alabama currently is challenging the constitutionality of Section 5, the heart of the Voting Rights Act. Mr. Haygood was joined by other stakeholders in the case including: Julie Fernandes, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and current Senior Policy Analyst at the Open Society Foundations; and, Ari Berman, contributing writer at The Nation.
Section 5, which applies to parts of the country with some of the worst histories of voting discrimination, protects voters of color from persistent attempts to suppress their vote. During the discussion, Mr. Haygood and other participants discussed: Section 5’s accomplishments in preventing racial discrimination in voting; why Section 5 applies only to some parts of the country; and why the Supreme Court should uphold Section 5, as it has done in response to four previous challenges.
The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder on February 27, 2013.