Southern Echo joins Amicus Brief in Supreme Court to save Voting Rights Act Section 5 preclearance rules

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Washington, DC – On March 25, 2009 Southern Echo, Inc. joined others in the filing of an Amicus Brief in the United States Supreme Court as part of the effort to save the preclearance provisions of Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that the US Congress overwhelmingly voted in 2006 to extend for another 25 years. A decision is expected in June 2009.

The Section 5 preclearance requirement that political jurisdictions obtain approval from the US Justice Department to ensure that minority voting rights are protected is under attack by a Texas sewer district in the case entitled, Northwest Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder, et al.

The case was argued before the US Supreme Court on April 29, 2009, buy generic tramadol online where the moderate justices pointed out that Texas had the worst record of voting rights violations since the passage of the Act in 1965 and Section 5 protections are still needed. The reactionary justices attacked the legislation on the grounds that it was no longer needed and that the overwhelming support for Section 5 in Congress meant that the provision must be ill-considered. [No, we couldn’t follow the logic of that, either.]

Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act has been the principal device through which people of color have fought against redistricting plans, voting regulations and voting customs and practices which have been intended or have had the effect of diluting the voting strength of people of color.