Leah C. Aden is a Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) where she represents Black people in a variety of legal actions, including challenges to discriminatory voting measures under the Voting Rights Act, the U.S. Constitution, and state laws.
Leah was a member of LDF’s litigation team in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, a high-profile case in which the U.S. Supreme Court rendered inoperable the protections of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. In response to the devastating Shelby County decision, Leah has worked with other advocates to block voting changes that potentially are discriminatory by successfully urging jurisdictions to maintain polling places and/or early voting opportunities. She also authored, Democracy Diminished: State and Local Threats to Voting Post-Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, a report which details state, county, and local voting changes — proposed or implemented — following the Shelby County decision, and continues to track post-Shelby County voting changes.
Using the remaining tool of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Leah is currently a member of the litigation teams challenging: a discriminatory voting method in Louisiana in Terrebonne Parish Branch NAACP, et al. v. Jindal, et al.; and a discriminatory photo ID law—passed immediately in the wake of the Shelby County decision—in Texas in Veasey, et al. v. Perry et al. She successfully represented Black voters in South Carolina v. United States, a challenge to South Carolina’s photo ID law, and in Georgia State Conference of the NAACP v. Fayette County Board of Commissioners, a challenge to a discriminatory voting method in Fayette County, Georgia.
Leah also advocates for the abolition of prison-based gerrymandering and felony disenfranchisement laws, and regularly works with allies in various states to prepare Black voters to participate in federal, state, and local elections.