Howard University

Civil Rights Clinic files briefs in

Shelby v. Holder, State v. King

On February 1, 2013, students in the Civil Rights Clinic filed three briefs in the United States Supreme Court. Two briefs concerned the constitutionality of the preclearance provisions of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). The case is titled Shelby v. Holder. In the first VRA brief, the Clinic represented Congressman John Lewis form Georgia. The students on that brief were: Ashley Sawyer, Yahshuah Ford, Amber Jordan and Elizabeth Fletcher. In the second Shelby v. Holder VRA brief, the Clinic represented a group called the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement. The students on that brief were: Douglas Quzack, Amber Jordan and Courtney Malden. Oral arguments are set for February 27, 2013.

The third brief concerned the constitutionality of a Maryland statute that permits the police to collect DNA evidence from persons arrested for certain crimes, even if they have not yet been convicted of anything. The case is State v. King and the brief was filed on behalf of the Civil Rights Clinic. The students on the State v. King brief were Alexandra Thompson, Aubrey Cunningham, Courtney Malden and Shannon Jones, with assistance from former adjunct professor Ajmel Quereshi. Oral arguments are scheduled for February 26, 2013.

The Civil Rights Clinic at Howard Law School litigates on behalf of indigent clients in civil rights and social justice cases. Students in the clinic represent pro se plaintiffs in federal and state appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Cases include a range of civil rights matters such as employment and housing discrimination, police brutality, denial of full voting rights, unconstitutional prison conditions, and procedural barriers that preclude indigent litigants from effective access to the courts. “The students performed great work on behalf of the law school and the Clinic,” said Professor Aderson Francois, supervising attorney of the Civil Rights Clinic and Counsel of Record on the briefs. “Their hard work and diligence on these briefs was true to the mission of the Civil Rights Clinic and the School of Law,” he said.



updated: February 8, 2013