A few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) abruptly served notice to the Maryland Department of Transportation, closing LDF’s complaint which challenged the state’s decision to cancel plans for the “Red Line” rail system in Baltimore City. USDOT provided zero explanation for this unfortunate decision. We had long argued that the cancellation of the Red Line had a disparate impact on African-American citizens who had waited for more than 50 years to see it built and violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which explicitly bans state agencies engaging in discrimination from receiving federal funds. LDF has since filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking for all documents and information related to USDOT’s investigation and their sudden denial of our complaint.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and 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.