September 15, 2016
Amicus Brief Filed at the U.S. Supreme Court in Virginia’s Racial Gerrymandering Case
Race was a factor when lawmaker drew legislative districts
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed an amicus brief yesterday afternoon in support of plaintiffs in Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections. In the brief, the NAACP and the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP argue that the state’s unnecessary use of race in redistricting the House of Delegates in 2011 fractured African-American communities and packed black voters into as few districts as possible, and thus violates the U.S. Constitution.
Allison Riggs, Staff Attorney for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, issued the following statement after filing the brief:
“If the racially gerrymandered districts are allowed to stand, it would not only harm African-American voters in Virginia, but it could encourage other states to follow suit. Racial segregation in redistricting disrupts the right to vote on equal terms, and this disruption has a ripple effect through communities whose members are assigned to districts based solely on the color of their skin.”
About the Brief:
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed the brief today at the U.S. Supreme Court in Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections in support of the NAACP. The brief argues that:
- misapplication of racial quotas can harm African-American voters;
- the lower court improperly analyzed evidence that demonstrated the use of race as a predominant factor in the redistricting process; and
- certain districts where African-American voters had significant existing influence were treated the same as districts where they had not.
A full pdf of the brief can be found at: http://bit.ly/Bethune-Hill
About the case:
Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections will be considered by the U.S.Supreme Court as part of its fall docket. The case questions whether or not the one-size-fits-all method used to pack African-American voters into legislative districts is permissible. The plaintiffs are represented by the NAACP and the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP.