Supreme Court Must Uphold Fair Maps for Black South Carolinians
Washington, D.C. – This morning, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of NAACP, a case appealing a unanimous federal court ruling that ordered the redrawing of South Carolina’s 1st congressional district for discriminating against Black voters.
Ahead of today’s oral argument, Paul Smith, senior vice president at Campaign Legal Center, released the following statement:
“There’s a reason a federal court already unanimously struck down South Carolina’s 1st congressional district: it’s a clear example of a racial gerrymander that made race the driving force in line-drawing decisions and harmed Black South Carolinians.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court’s Allen v. Milligan decision validated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. We hope the Supreme Court will once again side with voters and prevent self-interested politicians from weakening the Constitution’s ban on racial gerrymandering by using the cloak of partisan gerrymandering to discriminate against Black voters. Our democracy is meant to be of, by, and for the people, so all voters must have an equal opportunity to make their voices heard.”
In March, a federal district court panel struck down South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, finding that the state legislature had set an impermissible racial target for the district and removed thousands of Black voters from the district in order to meet it. The court held that the district was designed to “bleach” the Black voting community in the Charleston area.
Campaign Legal Center has been involved in several lawsuits challenging racial gerrymandering in voting maps. In August 2023, Campaign Legal Center joined a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and other voting rights organizations urging the Supreme Court to uphold the lower court’s ruling and avoid weakening the protections against racial gerrymandering enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.