For Immediate Release:
September 17, 2007
Myrna Perez, 212-998-6284
BRENNAN CENTER STATEMENT ON NAMUDNO V GONZALES
Today, a three judge panel in Washington DC heard arguments in NAMUDNO v. Gonzales, a case that presents a sweeping Constitutional challenge to Congress's authority to protect against racial discrimination in voting. Brennan Center counsel Myrna Perez, who filed an amicus brief which focused on Congressional power pursuant to the 15th Amendment which the judges discussed during the arguments, released the following statement about the case today:
"This assault on the Voting Rights Act is the newest in a line of cases seeking to decrease Congress's ability to protect the rights of citizens - especially those in minority communities. The 'pre-clearance provision' - which requires DOJ approval before election changes can be made in certain jurisdictions - has been at the core of the Voting Rights Act since 1965 and we urge the court to preserve Congressional authority in this matter.
"This issue represents an intersection of both race and a fundamental right - voting. And when legislation touches on this nexus, Congressional authority is at its highest and courts need to defer to Congressional power."