Blog of Rights

Laughlin
McDonald

Laughlin McDonald, a South Carolina native, received a B.A. degree from Columbia University and an LL.B. from the University of Virginia. He became the director of the Voting Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union located in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1972. He is currently special counsel and director emeritus of the Voting Rights Project. Prior to that he was in private practice and taught at the University of North Carolina Law School. He has represented minorities in numerous discrimination cases and specialized in the area of voting rights. He has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous district courts and courts of appeals, testified frequently before Congress, and written for scholarly and popular publications on numerous civil liberties issues. He is the author of several books, including A Voting Rights Odyssey: Black Enfranchisement in Georgia, and American Indians and the Fight for Equal Voting Rights.

Supreme Court Put a Dagger in the Heart of the Voting Rights Act

Supreme Court Put a Dagger in the Heart of the Voting Rights Act

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Laughlin McDonald, Voting Rights Project at 1:54pm
While the 15th Amendment was adopted in 1870 and prohibited denial of the right to vote on account of race or color, in reality, many African-Americans were only able to vote within recent memory -- less than 50 years ago, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Many people fought and bled for that right. Yet, despite a victory so recent in our memories, last week, the Supreme Court undermined one of the most powerful tools forged during that struggle—Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).
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