In what seems to be an ongoing theme after the 2020 Presidential election, another set of state maps is being contested for diluting Black voter power. This time, the NAACP has filed suit in South Carolina over voter boundaries that may have changed the state’s lone Democratic House district, according to the Associated Press.
In January, South Carolina’s Republican legislature redrew maps concerning U.S. House seats and stated there were minimal changes due to the 2020 Census readings. The NAACP’s lawsuit alleges voters in the state’s 1st, 2nd, and 5th Districts are being packed into the 6th District currently held by its sole congressional Democrat, U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn. Other than the claim that this dilutes Black voting power within the state, the suit also alleges the state legislature is ignoring “communities of interest” in several regions of South Carolina.
From the Associated Press:
“These maps fly in the face of the geography of the state post-2020, which reflects the movement of Black people to the South Carolina coast,” the lawsuit alleges. “The Legislature chose perhaps the worst option of the available maps in terms of its harmful impact on Black voters that it proposed or were proposed by members of the public.”
The Supreme Court overturned the 1965 Voting Rights Act of pre-clearance provision that states like South Carolina had to follow when they redrew district maps. The state claims they are following the 2013 guidance. South Carolina’s lawmakers stated they are following the newer guidance.
“The General Assembly did not improperly use race in drawing any district or enacting any redistricting plan,” the legislature’s attorneys wrote. “The General Assembly may have been aware of race in drawing districts and redistricting plans, but such awareness does not violate the Constitution or law.”
A panel of three federal judges will hear closing arguments in the case in Charleston and then make a later ruling.