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General News    H3'ed 2/27/13

Supreme Court Rally to Protect Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

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(Article changed on February 28, 2013 at 10:24)

(Article changed on February 28, 2013 at 08:11)


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"stripes and stars" by Marta Steele

Hundreds of demonstrators showed up early this morning in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building to participate in a rally protesting the likely Supreme Court decision to overturn Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  


Sponsored by some sixty-two civil rights organizations, including NAACP, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law, SEIU, the League of Women Voters, and Rainbow Push, the all-day event began with a Congressional press conference from 8:30 to 9 that included Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and civil rights icon John Lewis (D-GA), who were among those who attending the historic hearing.


Section 5 of the VRA requires preclearance from a federal court or the U.S. Department of Justice for new election laws in all or parts of 16 states with a history of minority voter suppression . Many of those covered states are in the South , as the VRA was initially passed in 1965 as a response to Jim Crow era suppression, and as part of the Congressional mandate of the 15 th Amendment, ratified 95 years earlier in 1870, to "enforce [the amendment] by appropriate legislation."


The majority of participants in yesterday's rally were African Americans, along with Latinos, Asian Americans, LGBTQs, and whites. Many had traveled from as far away as the deep South, including Mississippi and Alabama, said by one speaker to be the two states that had delivered the fewest votes for Obama in 2012 [fewest, with such large black populations?].


The rally itself, hosted by Joe Madison of Sirius XM Radio, lasted from 9am well into

the early afternoon . A post- hearing conference call with NAACP , LDF, ACLU, and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law was followed by a bus trip to Richmond by the Freedom Riders for Voting Rights, who had come all the way from Selma, Alabama, part of Shelby County, the now-infamous plaintiff in the case argued today, Shelby County v Holder.


A " post-argument analysis blog with legal experts and Alliance for Justice " will be held at 5:30 this afternoon at .


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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

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