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Can Partisanship Justify Racial Gerrymandering?

Press Release / Last Updated:

SCOTUS to hear Arguments Monday

Washington, DC – On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a landmark case on the critical intersection of racial gerrymandering and partisan gerrymandering. The state of North Carolina argues that its districts were designed to achieve partisan goals, so it should not be overturned as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.  

The League of Women Voters took a different view in an amicus brief filed with the Campaign Legal Center, arguing that “post hoc explanations by the legislature that the lines it drew were based on partisan concerns cannot override evidence that race, not politics, was the primary motivation in drawing district lines.  The legislature’s claim that politics, not race, motivated the drawing of [districts] was contradicted by the evidence.”

The Supreme Court has many times ruled that racial gerrymandering violates the Constitution, but has not invalidated any redistricting due to partisan gerrymanders. 

“The North Carolina legislature's redistricting map was intentionally gerrymandered on the basis of race and cannot be legalized by using the explanation that it was a political gerrymander,” according to Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. 

“The Supreme Court should maintain its prohibition on the use of race as a proxy for political affiliation,” Carson said.  “North Carolina is trying to pull a fast one in this case, and they should not get away with it,” she said. 

“Gerrymandering is violation of voters’ rights and an attack on our democratic values,” said Carson. “Politicians cannot hide behind false claims of partisan gerrymandering to target and suppress minority voters.”


Contact:  Sarah Courtney
(202) 263-1332 (office) 
[email protected]

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