NAACP President Cornell Brooks Will Appear in Court For Voting Rights Protest. NAACP National President and CEO Cornell William Brooks and NAACP Youth & College Division Director Stephen Green will appear in court in Roanoke, Va. on September 8. The two staged a protest in the district office of Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte in August. Their refusal to leave the Congressman’s office for six hours ended with their arrests for trespassing.
“For two years, the NAACP and others have called on Goodlatte and congressional leaders to hold a hearing on legislation restoring protections from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were eliminated under the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby v. Holder ruling,” a statement today from the NAACP read.
“In that same time, numerous states have passed restrictive and discriminatory laws to make it more difficult for African-American, young, old and poor voters to cast ballots, which the NAACP has challenged in federal court while calling for congressional action,” the release also pointed out.
Over the last two months courts have ordered the states of Texas, Wisconsin, North Carolina to cancel election laws that made it more difficult to vote. Just last week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied North Carolina’s request to impose restrictions in a new voting law during the Nov. 8 presidential election in 60 days. As the November elections draw closer, voting rights issues have dominated the news.
In Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order on April 22 that would restore the voting rights for over 200,000 former felons in the state. But in July, the Virginia State Supreme Court blocked McAuliffe’s effort and mandated that he consider each felon on a case by case basis. So far, the Governor has restored voting for 13,000 former felons.
Members of the Roanoke, Va. NAACP chapter are scheduled to attend the hearing in support of Brooks and Green tomorrow morning.