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US Attorney General, in Philadelphia, Promises Strong Civil Rights Agenda

By Justin Udo, Dray Clark

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds packed into a meeting room at the Pennsylvania Convention Center today to hear US attorney general Eric Holder address the 2013 conference of the National Urban League.

And he touched on issues that are currently affecting our region.

Holder’s speech keyed in on the national issue of voter rights, a hot topic in Pennsylvania as the state’s recently enacted voter ID law faces a court challenge (related story) even as the US Supreme Court knocked down elements of the Voting Rights Act (related story).

“This issue transcends partisanship, and we must work together,” Holder told the attendees.  “We cannot allow the slow unravelling of the progress that so many throughout history have sacrificed so much to achieve.”

Holder also addressed the work that the Civil Rights division of the US Justice Department has done under his watch:

“Since 2009, the division has filed more criminal civil rights cases than at any other time in our nation’s history, including record numbers of police misconduct and human trafficking cases.”

As he closed out, Holder assured the crowd that enforcement of civil rights protections will remain a top priority of the Justice Department.

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