WASHINGTON, DC - The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is dismayed by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision today to strike down Section IV of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder. Section IV includes the coverage formula for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was reauthorized by Congress as recently as 2006. NAPABA joined an amicus brief in Shelby County earlier this year that argued in support of upholding the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.
"The Voting Rights Act has been a crucial tool in combatting voter discrimination, which unfortunately continues today," said Wendy C. Shiba, president of NAPABA. "We are deeply disappointed by the Court's decision in Shelby County, which does not reflect current realities facing voters, including vulnerable Asian Pacific American voters. We strongly urge Congress to act swiftly in a bipartisan manner to develop a new coverage formula. All Americans who are eligible to vote must be able to do so."
In 2006, the Senate voted 98-0 to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, while the House of Representatives voted 390-33. The Voting Rights Act was first passed by Congress in 1965. Prior to today's decision, the Court had previously upheld the Voting Rights Act four times.
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 66 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include 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 the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.