Civil Rights Groups Challenge Redistricting

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Civil rights groups have filed a legal challenge over South Carolina’s new S.C. House district map, charging it intentionally discriminates against black communities in the state and denies black voters equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect candidates of their choice.

The lawsuit alleges that the new map intentionally packs and cracks black communities. “Cracking” refers to splitting communities of color into different districts to prevent them from exercising greater political power. “Packing” refers to placing people of color into the same district in greater numbers than necessary to elect candidates of choice to prevent them from exercising greater political power in surrounding districts.

Redistricting only happens once every decade, and it determines the allocation of political power and representation at every level of government for the next 10 years.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Somil Trivedi said, “This is classic gerrymandering. South Carolina lawmakers surgically carved up Black communities in key areas of the state to entrench their own political power. It has got to stop.”

The case was brought on behalf of the South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and an individual voter, Taiwan Scott, who are represented by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of South Carolina, Boroughs Bryant LLC, Arnold & Porter, and General Counsel’s Office of the NAACP.

The same groups filed a federal lawsuit in October 2021 challenging the South Carolina Legislature’s unnecessary delay in drawing new redistricting maps that respect the constitutional one-person-one- vote principle.

For more information, contact: Inga Sarda-Sorensen, ACLU, 347-514-3984, isarda-sorensen@aclu.org LDF, 212-965-2200, media@naacpldf.org; or Brenda C. Murphy, president SC NAACP Columbia, (803) 754-4584 office.

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