NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous; NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President, Director-Counsel John Payton and victims of voter intimidation will address a rally in front of the Supreme Court in support of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Wednesday, April 29 at 9 a.m.
United States' Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case of Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Eric Holder, Jr, Attorney General, et al.
The case is a crucial constitutional challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Section 5, regarded by many as the heart of the Voting Rights Act. It blocks and deters discriminatory voting changes in a select number of states and counties around the country. The section requires jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination in voting to submit proposed voting changes to its election process to the Department of Justice or to the D.C. District Court for pre-approval.
In 2006, after careful review of an expansive record, Congress concluded that the Section 5 pre-clearance provision is still necessary to prevent minority citizens from being deprived of the right to fully participate in our democracy.
"The Voting Rights Act of 1965 expanded our democracy to include all citizens, regardless of race, color or creed. The attempts to undermine the Voting Rights Act are deplorable. We will exhaust every resource to ensure that voting rights are protected," says NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.
"If the Supreme Court is to declare Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to be unconstitutional, our country will take a giant lead backwards. It will seriously undermine the very expansion of democracy that helped us reach the landmark election of the nation's first African American president whose 100 days in office is April 29.