REV. SHARPTON IN DETROIT TO DEFEND VOTING RIGHTS ACT, MOBILIZE FOR NATIONAL MARCH JUNE 22, 2013

Rev. Al Sharpton, head of the National Action Network, discusses Voting, N.A.N, Freedom March – – A No Struggle, No Development Production! By KennySnod * -Videographer for Voice of Detroit 

Kenny Snodgrass at 2011 Detroit demo.

Kenny Snodgrass at 2011 Detroit demo.

Rev. Al, Sharpton, President of National Action Network (NAN) was in Detroit Feb. 16, 2013 to 1) discuss the need and importance of going to Washington, D.C., to support the National Voting Rights Act against a challenge in Shelby County, Al v. Holder . The Supreme Court is to hear  oral arguments on the case February 27, 2013 2) To discuss the National Action Network’s upcoming Convention in New York – April 3 – 6, 2013 and 3) “The Commemorative March Toward Freedom” June 22, 2013. – – 

A No Struggle, No Development Production! By Kenny Snodgrass, Activist, Photographer, Videographer, Author of 1} From Victimization To Empowerment… www.trafford.com/07-0913 eBook available at www.ebookstore.sony.com
2} The World As I’ve Seen It! My Greatest Experience! {Photo Book}

 

YouTube: I have over 370 Video’s, over 127,321 hits averaging 4,100 a month on my YouTube channel @ www.YouTube.com/KennySnod

Lawyers committee

SHELBY COUNTY V. HOLDER

By Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights

Young member of Lawyers' Committee.

Young member of Lawyers’ Committee.

In April 2010, Shelby County, Alabama (a largely white suburb of Birmingham) filed suit in federal court in Washington, DC asking that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act be declared unconstitutional. Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, No. 1:10-cv-00651 (D.D.C.). The county asserts that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority when, in 2006, it reauthorized Section 5 for another 25 years.

Map of Alabama; Shelby County in green.

Map of Alabama; Shelby County in green.

Section 5 requires that certain States and localities, located primarily in the South and Southwest, obtain federal preclearance for all voting changes before they may be implemented. To obtain preclearance, a jurisdiction must demonstrate that the change neither has a discriminatory purpose nor a discriminatory effect.

On August 25, 2010, the Lawyers’ Committee intervened in the lawsuit to defend the constitutionality of Section 5. The Lawyers’ Committee is representing Bobby Lee Harris, a former council member of the Town of Alabaster, Alabama (located in Shelby County). Attorney General Holder is the named defendant in the case and other Shelby County residents also have also intervened as defendants (represented by the NAACP LDF and the ACLU Voting Rights Project).

(For more on Bobby Lee Harris, who contends he lost his seat on the city council of Alabaster, Al. due to violations of Sec. 5 of the Voting Rights Act, click on http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2013/02/voting_rights_act_defenders_di.html)

Black voters' rights are under attack nationwide.

Black voters’ rights are under attack nationwide.

On September 21, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the constitutionality of Congress’ 2006 reauthorization of Section 5, rejecting Shelby County’s challenge. The opinion can be found here. An analysis of this opinion can be found here.

On May 18, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the district court ruling, by a vote of two to one. The court summarized its decision as follows: “Congress drew reasonable conclusions from the extensive evidence it gathered and acted pursuant to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, which entrust Congress with ensuring that the right to vote-surely among the most important guarantees of political liberty in the Constitution-is not abridged on account of race. In this context, we owe much deference to the considered judgment of the People’s elected representatives.” The opinion can be found here.

Bobby Harris (center) was previously assistant principal of Thompson High School in Alabaster, AL. He is shown here with others opening school time capsule.

Bobby Harris (center) was previously assistant principal of Thompson High School in Alabaster, AL. He is shown here with others opening school time capsule.

Shelby County then appealed to the Supreme Court, and the Court accepted the case. On January 25, 2013, the Lawyers’ Committee filed its brief in support of the lower court rulings. We argued that Congress appropriately found in 2006 that pervasive discrimination in voting has persisted in the areas subject to Section 5, and therefore Congress properly concluded that there is a continuing need for the preclearance remedy. We further argued that Congress also appropriately determined that voting discrimination elsewhere in the country is much less severe, and therefore Congress properly concluded that the Section 5’s geographic coverage should not be altered. Oral argument will occur on February 27, 2013, and a decision is expected by the end of June.

The Lawyers’ Committee has played a central role in seeking to ensure that Section 5 continues to protect minority voters against discriminatory voting changes. In 2005, the Lawyers’ Committee established the National Commission on the Voting Rights Act to determine whether serious and widespread discrimination in voting has continued in the jurisdictions covered by Section 5. In February 2006, the Commission issued a detailed report on its findings, and Congress then relied on the Commission’s report when it concluded, later that year, that Section 5 should again be reauthorized.

Section 5 was originally enacted in 1965, and has proved itself to be one of the important provisions of what often has been called the most effective civil rights law enacted by Congress. Section 5 requires that certain states and local jurisdictions, located mainly in the South and Southwest, obtain federal preclearance before implementing any change in a voting practice or procedure (such as redistricting plans). Congress initially provided that Section 5 was to terminate after five years; however, Congress repeatedly has renewed Section 5, after finding that there is a continuing need for its protections.

The Lawyers’ Committee also intervened to defend the constitutionality of the 2006 reauthorization in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder. The Supreme Court ultimately decided not to resolve the issue in that case, because the Court determined that the plaintiff in that case – a municipal utility district in Texas – might be able to “bail out” from Section 5 coverage. 129 S. Ct. 2504 (2009). (Continue reading for links to legal documents involved.

Supreme Court Documents

Petition for a Writ of Certiorari by Shelby County

Brief in Opposition for Respondents-Intervenors on Petition for a Writ of Certiorari

Brief for Petitioner, filed by Shelby County

Brief for Respondent-Intervenor Bobby Lee Harris, filed by the Lawyers’ Committee

Brief for Respondent-Intervenors Bobby Pierson, Willie Goldsmith, Sr., Mary Paxton-Lee, Kenneth Dukes, and Alabama State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, filed by ACLU and NAACP

Brief for Respondent-Intervenors Earl Cunningham, Harry Jones, Albert Jones, Ernest Montgomery, Anthony Vines, and William Walker, filed by the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.

Brief for the Federal Respondent, filed by the Department of Justice

Amicus Briefs in Support of Shelby County:

Amicus Brief in Support of No Party

Appellate Court Documents

Appellant Brief filed by Shelby County

Brief filed by the Department of Justice

Joint brief filed by the Lawyers’ Committee, NAACP LDF, and ACLU

Reply brief filed by Shelby County

Opinion issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit May 18, 2012

District Court Documents

Briefs filed by the Lawyers’ Committee:

Filed by the Department of Justice:

Filed by the NAACP LDF and ACLU:

Filed by the Plaintiff:

District Court – Other:


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One Response to REV. SHARPTON IN DETROIT TO DEFEND VOTING RIGHTS ACT, MOBILIZE FOR NATIONAL MARCH JUNE 22, 2013

  1. AJAY JAIN says:

    The Voting Rights Act (VRA) must be upheld by the supreme court: Discrimination is alive today unfortunately; Liberty and justice for all is openly sabotaged and the Supreme Court is inviting trouble of great magnitudnal proportions if it dares to fail its ultimate mandate: to uphold everyone’s constitutional rights. We not only need to keep the protections in the current Voting Rights Act, it should be expanded. The numerous despicable attempts to restrict voting made during the last election cycle are proof of that. Anyone who truly believes the VRA is obsolete needs to recognize, given last years voter suppression efforts, the Jim Crowe era is biding its time, lurking in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to rear its head once again. The entire nation will speak against it because the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is not about political parties; the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is about individual rights protection. Bank on it! it is time to review; the Supreme Court’s “entitlements” as, it is no longer acting as an unbiased institution and that, your magistrates , can be amended. get up and do your job or we will make it happen! count on it! Now Even if you are dumb enough to believe that all is OK with the world and there are no reasons to have the voting rights law on the books. Then why are the the parties at opposite end’s on this ? Why are the Republicans in America trying to keep people from the poles ? Well I will tell you what I think. I think there may be a dozen or two, man and women in America that have the means to buy the power it wants to call all shots in this Country. The only way they can obtain this right now is get the people they went in office. To buy them so to say. But they know they can be stopped at the voting polls.They know the more that get out and vote there chances are reduced substantially. George Will knows this and should be ashamed. He say 47 years old. Is that old ? I don’t think so. Look at the constitution, at that II Amendment a lot older right. SS, Medicare, still very new in the big picture. But look at who wants to change them. Not working men and women, no the big bosses. They do not like to mach payments that is what this is all about. They did not like it back in the 1930s and they do not like it now. So Americans do not be fooled and all of you older people that now have this little benefit fight like h— to keep it just as it is. It just might be all there is between eating and striving !!

    All the republicans crapping about The Voting Rights Act (VRA) on this board and the likes of you in the REPUBLICAN House should move aside in 2014 because the REPUBLICANS are the crux of the problem. President Obama won the elections of 2008 AND 2012 fair and square but the REPUBLICANS are not allowing him to govern through their rule of RECORD number of filibusters in the Senate and the HOUSE of REPUBLICANS has achieved nothing since it came to power in 2010. In 2014 its the REPUBLICAN’s time to go and let OBAMA our democratically elected PRESIDENT rule the country and leave a legacy behind like the achievements of the 2008-2010 years when DEMOCRATS had the House Senate and the Presidency. We want the obstructionist REPUBLICANS out of the way in 2014. We want our House and Senate back in the DEMOCRATIC hands so we can govern and achieve something. All these doomsday fiscal deadlines that REPUBLICANS keep pushing on the country will haunt them in 2014!! Mark my words. March 4th 2013. Vote Democratic always!

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