SCSJ protects Voting Rights Act in NC case

Yesterday, a federal judge dismissed a challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 is an essential tool for defending minority voting rights because it requires changes to voting practices have approval from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to ensure they do not unfairly burden minority voters.
White residents of Kinston, NC sought to institute non-partisan elections, which, by their own admission, would place minority voters at a disadvantage. When the DOJ objected to the change, proponents of the non-partisan elections filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of Section 5. The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked the court to dismiss the case, Laroque v. Holder.
Anita Earls, Executive Director of SCSJ, noted: “Our clients, African-American residents and voters in Kinston and the state NAACP, want to see the protections of the Voting Rights Act remain in place, and this dismissal is one step in that direction.”
Laughlin McDonald, Director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project, said: “The federal district court properly rejected the challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5, which has been called ‘the heart’ of the Voting Rights Act. Without it, all attempts to rectify generations of inequality in our democracy through this vital law are meaningless. We applaud the court’s decision.”
For more information, please contact SCSJ Voting Rights Attorney Allison Riggs at