Today the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – in collaboration with Pro Bono counsel Cooley LLP – led a group of civil rights organizations in filing an amicus brief 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.
Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP will be argued before the Supreme Court following an appeal of a three-judge panel that ruled South Carolina’s redistricting of Congressional District 1 was an intentionally discriminatory and unconstitutional racial gerrymander. In Rucho v. Common Cause, the Supreme Court ruled that partisan gerrymandering claims were non-justiciable in federal court. The central issue in this case is whether state legislatures can use claims of partisanship as a cover for racial gerrymandering, especially in states where race highly correlates with political affiliation.
The amicus brief emphasizes a fundamental principle that the Supreme Court has long acknowledged in its redistricting precedents: race cannot be the predominant factor when drawing district boundaries, even if it is used to achieve political objectives — absent a compelling interest that does not exist here. Lawmakers cannot hide behind the veil of partisanship while undermining racial minorities in the redistricting process. The Lawyers’ Committee will continue fighting for a society where justice, equality, and the rights of every voter are fiercely protected and upheld.
The following organizations joined the Lawyers’ Committee in filing the amicus brief: 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, League of Women Voters of the United States, Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
Read the full amicus brief here.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.