Washington, D.C., Aug. 14--One hundred fifty Democratic party elected officials and activists have filed a friend of the court brief in support of Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. and the voters who are suing Democratic National Committee Chairman Donald Fowler, and several state parties for civil rights and voting rights violations. The Democratic Party activists are represented by former U.S. Congressman James Mann of Greenville, S.C., and D.C. School Board member, Bernard Gray.
The amici include four former Congressmen, 39 state representatives, 41 party officials, 19 civil rights leaders, and numerous others.
On Aug. 2, LaRouche, his campaign committee, and minority voters from Louisiana, Virginia, Arizona, Texas and the District of Columbia, filed suit, because Fowler unilaterally ruled that LaRouche was not a bona fide Democrat, and Democratic Party officials in those states, refused to allow supporters of LaRouche to participate in Democratic Party caucuses and primaries. In Louisiana and Virginia, LaRouche garnered enough votes to be awarded national convention delegates, but because of Fowler's ruling, those delegates were not given to LaRouche.
The legal brief (called a brief amicus curiae) asks the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to grant the request of LaRouche and the disenfranchised voters, that the Democratic Party seat the LaRouche delegates at the upcoming Chicago convention.
The 150 signers on the amicus curiae brief, whose names were gathered in the course of only a week, include individuals with a considerable history of fighting for voting rights against discrimination.
Among the 39 state legislators, are the leadership of black caucuses in nine states, the president of Alabama's New South Coalition, and the vice-president of the Alabama Democratic Coalition. National and state leaders of the nation's two major civil rights organizations--the NAACP and the SCLC--have signed on, as have prominent members of the African-American Lawyers Association, and the National Black Women's Caucus. In sum, the leadership of black Democrats in the United States is well represented.
Not all of the amici are African-American, however. They include leadership from many constituency areas, from at least 31 states of the nation.
The short brief includes the following statements:
"Your Amici are concerned that the actions taken by the Defendants (Fowler, et al.), unless legally repudiated, will be used as a model for further future deprivations of the rights of people of color or other minorities...
"Often minority voters are attracted to candidates who may not always have the approval of the establishment party leaders, but this is the very purpose of the primary system," the brief states.
"The LaRouche candidacy represents the opportunity for robust debate on policy issues of critical importance to the nation. Whether it is likely that the Convention delegates ultimately select him as their choice for the nomination is not the issue. The right of free speech, the furtherance of public debate, and the rights of voters to choose the candidate to be their voice in the national political debate must be respected and protected if our democracy is to endure."