Washington, DC — Today, the League of Women Voters of South Carolina (LWVSC) filed an amicus–or friend of the court–brief along with the Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce, the Charleston Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the Circular Congregational Church in the case Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, which will be heard by the US Supreme Court on October 11, 2023. The case is on appeal after a three-judge district court struck down South Carolina’s congressional map as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.
LWVSC’s brief explores the community of interest in Charleston County that was divided up between the First and Sixth Congressional Districts by the legislature, which used race as the predominant factor in drawing its map. The brief identifies the unique interests that exist in Charleston County, explores the harm that will result if the map is implemented, and summarizes the evidence presented at trial, demonstrating that the legislature disregarded this community of interest when drawing the map.
"The League of Women Voters of South Carolina has a history of advocating for fair maps in our state, and this case is no different," said Lynn Teague, vice president of issues and action at the League of Women Voters of South Carolina. "It is important that the Supreme Court hears about the strong community of interest in Charleston County and rules against racial gerrymandering in our state."
“This case raises critical questions at the heart of racial gerrymandering claims, which are at issue in multiple League cases seeking fair, nondiscriminatory redistricting maps across the country," said Celina Stewart, chief counsel and senior director of advocacy and litigation at the League of Women Voters of the US. “The League has long been vocal about the importance of people over politics and elevating the very community voices that legislators are elected to serve."
Plaintiffs in the case argued the state legislature violated the Fifteenth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause by dividing Black communities and voters among the districts to reduce their power to affect elections within them. LWVSC testified at the district court, which later ordered the legislature to submit a remedial map by March 31, 2023. The state of South Carolina appealed the case to the US Supreme Court, which accepted the case. LWVSC is represented by Duffy & Young.
“Proper redistricting is the baseline for fair elections,” said Wilson Daniel, Attorney at Duffy & Young. “Fair elections are fundamental to the success of our representative democracy. We are pleased to pull an oar as the League of Women Voters helps correct our collective course where necessary.”
View the brief here.
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Like the Florida League, Leagues across the country are seeking solutions to the issue of redistricting and gerrymandered Congressional districts.
WASHINGTON, DC —Today, the League of Women Voters of the United States joined an amicus brief filed by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, a racial gerrymandering case to be heard before the Supreme Court of the United States this fall. The brief is also joined by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Leadership Conference Education Fund, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Campaign Legal Center, Demos, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.