NC NAACP Files Amended Complaint Challenging Voter Suppression in Federal District Court


14 November 2013

DURHAM - On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, the North Carolina NAACP filed an amended version of its lawsuit against the voter suppression law that was rammed through the NC General Assembly just before it adjourned in July and approved by Governor Pat McCrory a week later.  The North Carolina NAACP significantly broadened the plaintiffs to the suit that seeks to enjoin the law, which many have called the "worst voter suppression law in the country."

Six historically African American churches and several individual civil rights veterans and students have now been added as plaintiffs to the 104-year old NAACP's lawsuit.  The six churches include:


1.      Emmanuel Baptist Church from Winston-Salem's Columbia Heights Neighborhood, led by Dr. John Mendez.

2.      New Oxley Hill Baptist Church in Merry Hill, led by Reverend Vonner Horton.

3.      Bethel A. Baptist Church in Brevard led by Pastor Franklin L. Gordon.

4.      Covenant Presbyterian Church in Durham, led by Reverend Jimmie Hawkins.

5.      Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church in Hickory, led by Reverend T. Anthony       Spearman.

6.      Barbee's Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, led by Bishop L. Gene   Hatley.

The six added individual plaintiffs join Ms. Rosanell Eaton, a 92-year-old African-American woman from Louisburg who was named in the original suit, filed shortly after Gov. McCrory approved the bill against the advice of the State Attorney General and other constitutional experts, include:

1.      Ms. Carolyn Q. Coleman, 71, an African-American County Commissioner in Guilford County, North Carolina, has worked for half a century in involving and empowering Black people in the civic life of North Carolina.

2.      Ms. Mary Perry, 84, a long-time African-American civil rights activist from Wendell.

3.      Ms. Armenta Eaton, 64, an African-American voter in Franklin County.

4.      Ms. Baheeyah Madany, 20, an African-American business major at North Carolina Central University in Durham.

5.      Ms. Jocelyn Andreka Ferguson-Kelly, 19, an African-American laboratory science major at Winston-Salem State University.

6.      Ms. Faith Jackson, 20, an African-American nursing major Winston-Salem State University.

The NC NAACP and its legal team believe the addition of the new plaintiffs bolsters their request to the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina to expedite hearings and its final decision in the case, before the restrictions of the new law reverses the long struggle by disenfranchised southern African Americans to participate in American Democracy. 

"Those who would restrict African Americans' access to the polls must be stopped," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the State President of the NAACP in North Carolina, which has over 100 adult, youth and college branches across the state.  "The United States Courts, charged with enforcing the U.S. Constitution and statutes in North Carolina against this type of attack on people of color, should put this case on a fast track, so this discriminatory law can be nullified before the next election."

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