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Leading Civil Rights and First Amendment Lawyer Paul M. Smith to Receive 2010 Thurgood Marshall Award at ABA Annual Meeting

Washington, DC (Vocus) March 3, 2010

The American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities named civil liberties and human rights attorney Paul M. Smith as the recipient of this years Thurgood Marshall Award, which will be presented Aug. 7 at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

A partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Jenner & Block, Smith is one of the countrys leading lawyers in the areas of First Amendment litigation and appellate advocacy. He has presented oral argument in more than a dozen Supreme Court cases, including his groundbreaking advocacy in Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark gay rights case that is often compared in significance to the Brown v. Board of Education case, which was argued and won by Thurgood Marshall.

Smith has not only led the way in advancing LGBT civil rights, but he has also been a leading advocate in addressing voting rights issues, including arguing three times before the U.S. Supreme Court in voting rights matters since 2004. His most recent argument was in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, a 2008 case challenging an Indiana voter ID law, which has been called the most significant election law case to reach the Court since Bush v. Gore in 2000. Smith has also been a leader in advancing freedom of speech, especially with regard to the application of the First Amendment to the Internet and video games.

The Thurgood Marshall Award recognizes substantial, long-term contributions to the advancement of civil rights, civil liberties and human rights in the United States. The section established the award in 1992, conferring the inaugural award upon U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Since that time, recipients have included:

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