This week, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) filed a petition for rehearing en banc in a significant voting rights case that challenged how judges are elected in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. The petition was filed in response to a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ reversal of a trial court’s decision on June 30, 2020. Following an eight-day trial in 2017, a trial court originally ruled in favor of Black residents who seek an opportunity to elect a judge of their choice to the state trial court bench at issue.

As the petition details, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals erroneously reached the merits of the case before determining a jurisdictional issue and also erred by discounting and ignoring substantial proof of racial discrimination in Terrebonne elections, including an incident where a sitting judge was re-elected under the challenged voting system after appearing in public in black-face.

Read the petition here.

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.

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