Navajo Nation Files Brief with U.S. Supreme Court in Voting Rights Act Challenge

Attorneys at Sacks Tierney P.A. argue for reauthorization of election law pre-clearance requirement for jurisdictions with a history of discriminatory voting practices

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While passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 ended certain means of discrimination, Indians continued to be denied the right to vote through a variety of new strategies.

Scottsdale, Arizona (PRWEB) February 18, 2013

The Navajo Nation has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to counter an Alabama county’s challenge of the federal Voting Rights Act (Shelby County v. Holder, U.S. Supreme Court No. 12-96), the tribe's Phoenix law firm announced today.

The brief, drafted by attorneys Judith M. Dworkin and Patricia A. Ferguson-Bohnee of Sacks Tierney P.A., supports the Act’s requirement that certain jurisdictions with long patterns and practices of voting discrimination must “pre-clear” with the U.S. Department of Justice any proposed changes to state and local election laws before the changes can go into effect.

While discrimination against African Americans was a major catalyst for 1965 passage of the Voting Rights Act, the law’s protections extend to other minorities, including Hispanics and Native Americans. The brief focused specifically on the continued need for coverage for Native Americans in South Dakota and Arizona.

“Indian people have endured a century of discrimination and overcome new obstacles each generation in order to exercise the right to vote in state and federal elections,” the Navajo Nation argued in its brief. “While passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 ended certain means of discrimination, Indians continued to be denied the right to vote through a variety of new strategies.”

The brief highlighted numerous examples of recent discrimination that disenfranchise Native American voters.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in the case, Shelby County v. Holder, in late February.

More on this topic:http://www.sackstierney.com/news/voting-rights.htm


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