National Asian Pacific
1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2013
Contact: Azizah Ahmad
ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN COMMUNITY RALLIES
IN SUPPORT OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT
WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, a case challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). NAPABA members and partner organizations joined hundreds of supporters from across the country to rally on the steps of the Supreme Court in support of Section 5.
"Section 5 is one of the key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. It protects some of the most vulnerable members of our community, including people with limited English proficiency, in areas where voter disenfranchisement remains a concern," said Wendy Shiba, president of NAPABA. "We must ensure that this critical and extremely effective piece of civil rights legislation is upheld, and that everyone who is eligible to vote has equal access to the ballot box."
In January, NAPABA joined an amicus brief led by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) that urges the Supreme Court to uphold Section 5. This key provision of the VRA requires select jurisdictions with a history of voter discrimination, including all jurisdictions in the state of Alabama, to submit any new voting procedures to the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia for "preclearance" to ensure that any new voting procedures are not discriminatory. Shelby County, Alabama is challenging the constitutionality of Section 5.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 62 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of people of color in the legal profession.