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Friday, February 22, 2013
The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder on February 27, 2013. Debo Adegbile, Special Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) will argue on behalf of intervenors in defense of the Voting Rights Act.
The case involves a challenge by Shelby County, Alabama, to the Section 5 “preclearance” provision of the Voting Rights Act, which requires states and jurisdictions with some of the worst histories of voting discrimination, such as Alabama, to submit any changes in voting laws to the Department of Justice or a federal court in Washington, D.C. for approval, or “preclearance,” to ensure that the changes are free from discrimination, before they can be implemented.
Shelby County filed this lawsuit less than one year after LDF successfully defended the constitutionality of Section 5 before the Supreme Court in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder.
The constitutionality of Section 5 has been sustained by the Supreme Court on four separate occasions in the past, and all lower courts have similarly upheld Section 5 against constitutional challenges.
LDF represents six African-American residents of Shelby County.