Yanceyville, N.C. (December 4, 2021) — A superior court judge late Friday denied a motion for a preliminary injunction that would have blocked commissioners’ redistricting plans retaining two districts that elect Black candidates in Caswell County, North Carolina. The court also granted the motion of the NC NAACP to intervene in the matter, and heard arguments from NC NAACP counsel during the argument
In November, Republican operatives filed a lawsuit challenging as racial gerrymanders two districts that have historically allowed Black voters to elect their candidates of choice in Caswell County, and sought, among the options, a return to at-large voting to remedy the alleged constitutional violation. The lawsuit, Wrenn v. Caswell County, represented the latest challenge to Black voting opportunity districts in North Carolina since the 2013 Supreme Court decision gutting the preclearance provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA).
On November 24, Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) brought a motion to intervene in the case on behalf of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, seeking to defend a 1988 federal consent decree preserving districts for Black voters. During the December 3 hearing, SCSJ’s Co-Executive Director and Chief Counsel for Voting Rights Allison Riggs argued in favor of the judge’s dismissal.
On Monday, Riggs praised the court’s decision, calling it an “important victory.”
“Southern Coalition for Social Justice celebrates this important victory in our fight for fair local redistricting in North Carolina. Black representation is being actively undermined by some jurisdictions, and in others, where jurisdictions are taking race equity into account in redistricting, they’re being sued by Republican operatives. SCSJ and the NC NAACP will stand up to defend jurisdictions that do the right thing. This case was an ominous threat to voting rights, almost certainly would never have been filed if Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was in place, and the court’s ruling is an important signal to others who would sue to undermine Black voting strength that the courts still offer relief from such attacks.”
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, founded in 2007, partners with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in the South to defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing, and communications. Learn more at southerncoalition.org and follow our work on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.