Local civil rights attorney tracking voting rights cases - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Local civil rights attorney tracking voting rights cases

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The single most violently televised episode in the struggle of American Civil Right's history put the issue over the right to vote into millions of homes. 

March 7th, 1965 is known as Bloody Sunday, and what happened in Selma, Alabama is largely credited for President Lyndon Johnson signing the voting rights act later that year.

Charlotte civil rights attorney James Ferguson is among those tracking today's Supreme Court case.

"We have seen over the last decade more and more effort's to limit people's ability to exercise one of the most important rights we have," Ferguson said.

Arguments heard by the nine justices is  out of Shelby County Alabama where plaintiffs say the south has changed enough that federal protections insured by the voting rights act are no longer needed.

"The South is no longer the same south it was in 1964. The whole country has changed. We're a dynamic society."

Outside the high court voting rights activists and congressional democrats took their argument to the court of public opinion.

Among those making the point was Georgia Congressman John Lewis who was beaten by Alabama Lawmen on the Edmund Pettus Bridge nearly 48 years ago.

He said, "The effort to undermine the voting power of minorities did not end in 1965."

Attorney Ferguson said time has not erased the need for legal guarantees.

"It comes down to whether the court will be moved by politics, "he said.

"There has to be some protections and that indicates there is a need for protection now just as there's been a need since 1965."

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