Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court in Major Civil Rights Case

January.23.2013

​An advocacy team is representing the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (“AALDEF”) and other organizations in drafting and filing an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in an appeal challenging a signal achievement of the civil rights movement, part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (“VRA”). 

The court will review a provision of the VRA that requires all or part of 16 mostly Southern states to get federal approval before changing their voting rules. Opponents say that “preclearance” provision is no longer warranted.  Chief Justice John Roberts has questioned the constitutionality of the preclearance rule, which the Obama administration used this year to stop Republican-backed voter-identification laws in Texas and South Carolina from going into effect. AALDEF (and other parties) will submit an amicus brief in this important appeal, arguing, among other things, that Asian Americans have successfully used Section 5.  Section 5 has helped to ensure fully translated ballots in New York City, protect against sudden poll site changes without notice in New York, and preserve minority voting strength state legislative redistricting in Texas.

The team consists of Los Angeles securities litigation and regulatory enforcement associate Judy Kwan, New York litigation associate Matthew Pickel, Silicon Valley intellectual property counsel Monte Cooper, Silicon Valley intellectual property associates Andrew Ong and Lillian Mao, all supervised by New York securities litigation and regulatory enforcement partner Matthew Craner.