United States of America v. Ike Brown Noxubee County Democratic Executive Committee

(2006-2007) In May 2006 in Macon, Mississippi, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was used for the first time to allege discrimination against whites. Ike Brown, head of the Democratic Party in Noxubee County, was convicted of trying to defeat white voters and candidates with intimidation and coercion. Carl Mickens, county circuit clerk, was also named in the lawsuit and was accused of rejecting absentee ballots that were considered defective from white voters while accepting the same ballots from black voters. In Noxubee County, blacks dominate county elections, and only one white person holds office. A complaint to the Justice Department says Brown and his associates “participated in numerous racial appeals:and have criticized black citizens for supporting white candidates and for forming biracial political coalitions with white candidates.” The main plaintiff is Ricky Walker, the county prosecuting attorney who says that when he qualified to run again in 2003, Brown sought out a black lawyer to run against him. According to Walker, “he just wanted to have a person in that office that he had some control over, a black person.”

U.S. District Court judge Tom S. Lee ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in 2007, stating that Noxubee County held “the most extreme case of racial exclusion seen by the (department’s) Voting Section in decades.”