February 12, 2015

Venable Represents Congressional Black Caucus Before U.S. Supreme Court in Critical Voting Rights Act Case

2 min

Washington, DC - February 12, 2015 - Venable LLP represented the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in its amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court this week, urging the Court to review the validity of Wisconsin’s voter ID law under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The CBC's amicus brief was in support of the petition for certiorari in Ruthelle Frank, et al. v. Scott Walker, et al. Petitioners have asked the Court to review the 2011 Wisconsin law which imposes new voter identification requirements on citizens. The trial court struck the law down, finding that it disproportionately affects, and therefore disenfranchises, African Americans and Latinos in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin law is similar to many state laws enacted in recent years, particularly in light of the Court's decision striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013.

"Photo voter ID laws significantly impact all voters but especially place burdens on African Americans, Latino Americans, young voters, seniors, women and individuals with disabilities," said CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield speaking on behalf of the 46 member caucus. "Many of us led the fight to end the practice of voter disenfranchisement 50 years ago, and we cannot afford to standby and do nothing while historical advancements in equality and fairness are reversed with laws such as Wisconsin's discriminatory voting practice which, if allowed, will open the floodgates across the country to silence many American voices by making it increasingly harder for all citizens to vote and have a say in America's democratic process," he concluded.

On March 7, 2015, members of the CBC will travel to Selma, Alabama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, one of the key events in the Civil Rights Movement that ultimately led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

Kishka F. McClain led the Venable team, which included Seth A. Rosenthal, Allyson B. Baker, Martin L. Saad, Moxila A. Upadhyaya, Sarah Choi, Nathaniel S. Canfield, Lyndsay E. Steinmetz and Darryl L. Tarver.


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