LDF Special Counsel Debo Adegbile was the only Black lawyer to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court during the last year. Mr. Adegbile argued in the case of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder to preserve Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, an essential tool in defending the voting rights of African-American voters, and other voters of color, who live in those places with the worst and most persistent history of discrimination in voting. The New York Times reported that of 193 separate presentations to the Court during its October 2012 term, Mr. Adegbile’s was the only one by an African-American lawyer.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is one of our nation’s most effective federal civil rights statutes. Shelby County, Alabama filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which is widely regarded as the heart of the legislation. LDF represents African-American residents of Shelby County whose voting rights are directly impacted by the county’s challenge. They intervened in the lawsuit to defend this critical civil rights measure that protects the right to full participation in the political process.
You can read the New York Times article here.