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Federal Judge Rules Against Imprisoning Those Who Can’t Pay Court Fees

August 7, 2018

NPR

The decision by Judge Vance concludes a three-year lawsuit against the OPCDC and the “debtors’ prison” practice, that the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has argued unfairly impacts the poor which make up nearly all criminal defendants in New Orleans. “We believe this judgement will have an effect across the state of Louisiana,” Myesha Braden, Director of the Criminal Justice Project at the Lawyers’ Committee, told NPR.

Trump administration has Voting Rights Act on life support

August 6, 2018

CNN

As we celebrate the 53rd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which vastly improved voter turnout, this country is at a crucial juncture in the centuries-long struggle to create, maintain, preserve, and ensure true equality of voting rights for members of minority populations. That we are still concerned about this well into the 21st century is incredible. That we, especially those of us who work to make voting readily accessible to all, are even more concerned than we were five years ago — when the Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby v. Holder — is frightening.

Kemp defends Georgia’s ‘exact match’ voter registration law

August 6, 2018

Politically Georgia - Atlanta Journal Constitution blog

“Georgia’s ‘no match, no vote’ policy has already disenfranchised tens of thousands of eligible voters and has had a particularly onerous effect on minorities and the poor,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in a statement July 19.

Federal Judge blocks New Orleans from jailing Black folks who are unable to pay fines

August 5, 2018

The Grio

“This is a victory for the people of New Orleans and for those committed to fixing the breaks in the criminal justice system,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “America treats being poor as a crime, disproportionately victimizing people of color. This ruling ensures that people can no longer be thrown in jail in Orleans Parish for their poverty alone.”

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