July 1st, 2007 10:18 EST
Decision in United States v. Ike Brown, et al.
"Every American has the right to vote free from racial discrimination," said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Court`s ruling is another victory in the Department`s vigorous efforts to protect the voting rights of all Americans."
On Feb. 17, 2006, the Justice Department filed a complaint alleging that Ike Brown and the Democratic Executive Committee discriminated against white voters, white candidates and those who supported them in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Today, U.S. Senior District Judge Tom S. Lee found the defendants liable for violating the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against white voters and white candidates. The Court ruled that Ike Brown violated federal voting laws by discriminating on the basis of race by issuing directions to count the absentee ballots of white voters differently than the absentee ballots of black voters.
*The Court found that the defendants acted with a racially discriminatory intent.
*The Court found that the defendants engineered "a concerted effort to illegally `assist` black voters."
*The Court found that the defendants recruited ineligible black candidates to run against white candidates.
The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the voting rights of all Americans, as it has in bringing the first cases ever on behalf of Haitian, Filipino, Vietnamese and Korean Americans. In FY 2006, the Civil Rights Division filed more than twice the number of cases to protect the voting rights of Americans than the average number filed during the past 20 years. During the past six years, the Civil Rights Division has litigated more cases on behalf of minority language voters than in all other years combined since 1965. Specifically, the Department has successfully litigated approximately 60 percent of all language minority cases in the history of the Voting Rights Act. In November 2006, the Department also mounted the largest election monitoring effort in history for a mid-term federal election. The President and the Attorney General strongly supported the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, named for three heroines of the Civil Rights movement, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King. The Division is currently defending the Act against a constitutional challenge in federal court in the District of Columbia.
To file complaints about discriminatory voting practices, including acts of harassment or intimidation, voters may call the Voting Section of the Justice Department`s Civil Rights Division at 1-800-253-3931. More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/index.htm.