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Legal Group Challenging Voting Method

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(AURN/LDF) -- The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is challenging the method of election in a Louisiana parish located in the most Southern part of the state. 

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and Louisiana attorney, Ronald L. Wilson, filed a challenge under the Voting Rights Act to Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana’s 32nd Judicial District Court. A Black candidate has never been elected as a judge on this parish court. A sitting judge on the court has been suspended for wearing blackface, an orange prison jumpsuit, handcuffs, and an afro wig to a Halloween party as part of his offensive parody of a Black prison inmate.

“For nearly two centuries, Terrebonne Parish has used at-large voting to maintain a racially segregated 32nd Judicial District Court,” said Ryan Haygood, Director of the Political Participation Group at LDF, the nation’s leading civil rights law firm and a separate entity from the NAACP. “That system for electing judges has guaranteed that Black voters, in spite of having tried in election after election, cannot elect their judges of choice to this court. This lawsuit seeks to bring greater inclusion and democratic legitimacy to Terrebonne Parish’s political process through district-based voting.”

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