Legal Defense Fund Profile picture
America's premier civil rights law organization fighting for racial justice through litigation, advocacy, & public education. Established in 1940.
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May 17, 2022 8 tweets 4 min read
May 17, 1954, the day the decision in Brown vs. Board of Education was issued, marks a defining moment in the history of the United States. The Supreme Court declared the doctrine of “separate but equal” unconstitutional. To litigate Brown vs. Board of Education, Thurgood Marshall recruited the nation’s best attorneys. LDF lawyers were assisted by a brain trust of legal scholars, historians, and social science researchers. More about the legal minds behind the case:…
Feb 21, 2022 5 tweets 3 min read
In 1961, John Lewis joined the Freedom Riders, a group traveling by bus to ensure that the Supreme Court decision banning discrimination in transportation services was upheld. They were repeatedly physically attacked and imprisoned, but they remained steadfast in their objective. LDF directly represented Mr. Lewis and other activists in numerous civil rights matters. LDF founder Thurgood Marshall was on the Lewis v. Greyhound legal team, which involved a violent attack on the Freedom Riders at the Montgomery, AL, bus terminal.…
Jan 17, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the March on Washington to call for an end to segregation, economic justice, and access to the ballot. Today, the fight for voting rights is just as urgent.… As buses pulled into D.C. and hundreds arrived via trains onto the National Mall for the March on Washington, the gravity of the moment was clear. 250,000 people marched — the unprecedented turnout was a testament to the power of grassroots organizing.…
Nov 17, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
TONIGHT at 9:00PM EST: @Sifill_LDF joins @Maddow live to discuss her decision to step down as LDF President and Director-Counsel. "I’ve worked very hard to make LDF strong and to help Americans see that civil rights institutions and civil rights work is critical—not just for the citizenship and dignity of Black people, but for the health of American democracy." @Sifill_LDF
Oct 20, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
Starting now! @Sifill_LDF joins @allinwithchris on @MSNBC to discuss the Freedom to Vote Act. The bill aimed at strengthening voting rights and overhauling the nation's election systems failed to advance in the Senate today. "The reality of what we are dealing with is no different than the reality of what Black voters were dealing with in 1964. Voter suppression was being perpetuated and advanced to keep fellow citizens from being able to vote...and that is what is happening today." -@Sifill_LDF
May 26, 2021 4 tweets 4 min read
.@SIfill_LDF joins @maddow to discuss the anniversary of #GeorgeFloyd's death and today's confirmation of Kristen Clarke. Tune in tonight at 9:35 ET on @MSNBC We are not out of the woods yet, but there have been important shifts that have happened.

“One of the most important is in the narrative of the nature of policing. We are now not just talking about individuals, we are talking about reimagining public safety.” —@Sifill_LDF
May 25, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
BREAKING: The Senate has just voted to confirm Kristen Clarke as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Justice Department. She is the first woman and the first Black woman to be confirmed to lead the Civil Rights Division. During her tenure at LDF, Kristen Clarke litigated some of our most important, high-profile voting rights cases, including MUD v. Holder, which upheld the constitutionality of Section 5 of the VRA. She also led the efforts to intervene in the watershed Shelby County case.
May 25, 2021 8 tweets 3 min read
We know that to address our nation’s policing crisis we need to completely reimagine our system of public safety. Our work in the past year underscores the urgent need for change. One year ago, @SIfill_LDF penned a @Slate op-ed in which she detailed the provisions needed to finally address the crisis of policing. Many of these, like an end to qualified immunity & a national police database are included in the Justice in Policing…
May 25, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
After George Floyd’s death, demands for accountability from communities and grassroots advocates helped advance a wave of policing-related bills & policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels. LDF has compiled an overview of them.… This year alone, we’ve seen cities and states take unprecedented steps to dismantle qualified immunity, repeal Law Enforcement Officers’ Bills of Rights, and enact policies and laws to finally hold police accountable for their misconduct.…
May 19, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
Texas has a long history of singling out Black and Brown defendants for execution. It will add to that history if it executes Quintin Jones today as planned. (1/4)… Texas’s failure to grant Mr. Jones’s petition for clemency raises serious questions of racial discrimination. In 2018, Governor Abbott granted clemency to Thomas Whitaker, a white man, in very similar circumstances. (2/4)…
May 17, 2021 9 tweets 6 min read
To mark the 67th anniversary of the #BrownvBoard decision, we're live with @TeensTakeCharge and civil rights activist @LeonaTate!

Special message: Yara Shahidi
Opening remarks: @SecCardona
Moderated by: @JNelsonLDF

Join us! "Brown rejected 'separate but equal,' but the work to achieve true, lasting equity is far from over." --@SecCardona #BrownvBoard
May 17, 2021 12 tweets 5 min read
LDF is proud to announce the inaugural cohort of the groundbreaking Marshall-Motley Scholars Program!

The program will endow the South with the next generation of civil rights lawyers trained to provide legal advocacy of unparalleled excellence.… Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Ashley Fox has a profound passion for racial justice. The human cost of conditions for Black people – particularly in the South – results in Ashley’s commitment to pursuing the practice of civil rights law.
May 17, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
67 years ago, the #BrownvBoard decision completely transformed America. Litigated by LDF’s brilliant legal team that included Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley, this victory paved the way for the desegregation of American society. We owe so much to Brown. #OTD The #BrownvBoard legal team featured civil rights heavyweights Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley. Each attorney on the case brought a unique background, but their shared determination was a unifying force. Learn more about their work.…
Apr 20, 2021 6 tweets 4 min read
Today, President and Director-Counsel @Sifill_LDF will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the latest assault on voting rights. Our fundamental right to vote is sacred, and we need federal oversight to ensure its protection.

Watch live:… "Contrary to numerous news reports, the 2020 Election did not go smoothly. Instead, voters overcame a litany of barriers and obstacles with determination and resilience to produce the highest turnout ever recorded in a presidential election." --@Sifill_LDF
Mar 10, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
In her confirmation hearing today, @vanitaguptaCR showed the country exactly why she should be the next Associate Attorney General of the United States. Her commitment to equity and justice is what our nation needs at this time.

Here are some highlights from her testimony. "I am deeply grateful & proud of my father & my mother. The ethical character of my parents & their love of this country, because it showed them enormous opportunities that they sought, but never expected to have. I hope every day that I can live a life to give them honor."
Mar 9, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
Let’s talk about Vanita Gupta’s work in Tulia, TX

As an LDF attorney, she led the effort to overturn the wrongful convictions of Tulia residents. They were ultimately pardoned by Gov. Rick Perry and received a $6 million settlement, which Ms. Gupta also worked on. #ConfirmGupta In 1999, more than 10% of Tulia, Texas’ Black population was arrested as the result of a drug “sting” conducted by a lone police officer with a troubled history in law enforcement. In a “sting” that yielded no money, no drugs, and no weapons, 38 Black residents were arrested.
Mar 9, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
Happening now! Watch live 👇🏾 "The heart of this is about accountability. The question remains, 'Will law enforcement officers be held accountable for their acts of brutality that result in death or harm to black people?'" -@Sifill_LDF
Mar 7, 2021 5 tweets 4 min read
"This is the first commemoration of #BloodySunday without John Lewis. John Lewis was our moral compass, our North Star...He left us this past year, but he didn't leave us without directions & instructions. He told us to vote like never before. And we did." --@Sifill_LDF #Selma56 "That day...Georgia elected for the first time since Reconstruction a Black United States Senator, and GA also elected for the first time in its history a Jewish United States Senator...They are symbols of what we can do when we marshal our strength and determination to vote."
Mar 5, 2021 5 tweets 4 min read
Starting now! Join us for a conversation between @SIfill_LDF and #Amend co-creator Robe Imbriano! The conversation will look at the impacts of the 14th amendment and constitutional equality. Register here and join us:… @Sifill_LDF candidly shares how she was bubbling with enthusiasm while filming #Amend.

“I was so excited that I could sit down and talk about the 14th Amendment—an Amendment that is so central to the idea of America.”
Mar 2, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
1/4 The policies #NYPD published failed to address, as required, the disparate impacts of its harmful technologies like facial recognition, its gang database, and social media monitoring tools, on Black and Brown New Yorkers. Image 2/4 We and our partners call on NYPD to follow the POST Act’s disclosure requirements. The NYPD’s expansive technology systems must not infringe on New Yorkers’ privacy rights or civil liberties.
Mar 2, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Kristen Clarke and Vanita Gupta have dedicated their entire careers to fighting for civil rights and equal justice under the law. Their extensive records of civil rights advocacy render them more than qualified to serve. We need them at the Justice Department. LDF gives its unreserved support for the confirmation of Vanita Gupta to serve as Associate Attorney General in the Department of Justice.