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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Press Release - The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Press Call Advisory: Why Native American Voters Need the Voting Rights Act
Friday, Feb. 22 at 12:30 p.m. EST/11:30 a.m. CST/10:30 a.m. MST/8:30 AKST, Days before Supreme Court Arguments in Shelby County v. Holder

For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Simpson, 202.466.2061, simpson@civilrights.org
February 21, 2013

Listen to a recording of this call (mp3).

On Friday, Feb. 22 at 12:30 p.m. EST/11:30 a.m. CST/10:30 a.m. MST/ 8:30 a.m. AKST, legal experts and an impacted voter will join together to brief the media about the importance of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) to Indian Country and Native American voters.

The briefing will occur just four days before the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, a case challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 of the VRA. This challenge has far-reaching implications for the law’s ability to protect voters in Indian Country.

Nationally, the Voting Rights Act rejected more than 1,000 proposed discriminatory voting changes between 1982 and 2006. In addition, hundreds of voting changes were withdrawn by covered jurisdictions after just a request for more information.

For Native American voters, these protections have been vital, as documented in the amicus briefs filed by the Navajo Nation and the Alaska Federation of Natives. You can see the impact that the VRA has had on real voters in South Dakota in this video featuring a South Dakota advocate named Tom ShortBull.

On the call will be Laughlin McDonald, director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project and author of the report “Voting Rights in Indian Country;” Thomas ShortBull, the president of a tribal college in South Dakota and a former state senator; James Tucker, a primary author of the amicus brief filed by the Alaska Federation of Natives; and Patricia Ferguson-Bohnee, law professor at Arizona State University and author of an amicus brief filed by the Navajo Nation.

WHO:

·         Laughlin McDonald, Director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project, author of “Voting Rights in Indian Country

·         Thomas ShortBull, President of Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota and impacted voter

·         James Tucker, voting rights attorney with Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman, and Dicker LLP, author of the Supreme Court amicus brief filed by the Alaska Federation of Natives.

·         Patricia Ferguson-Bohnee, law professor at Arizona State University, author of the Supreme Court amicus brief filed by the Navajo Nation

WHAT: Press call on why Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is vital to Native American voters with legal experts and an impacted voter in advance of Supreme Court argument in landmark case. 

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 22 at 12:30 p.m. EST/11:30 a.m. CST/10:30 a.m. MST/8:30 a.m. AKST

CALL-IN INFO: 866-952-1907, Verbal Passcode: “VRA”

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