Supreme Court Should Reject New Standard for Racial Gerrymandering Cases

Sep 14, 2016
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CLC Files Friend-of-the-Court Brief in Virginia racial gerrymandering case

The Campaign Legal Center today filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections, a case of critical importance for the future of racial gerrymandering cases.

In 2010, the Virginia Assembly redrew legislative districts in a way that diminished minority voters’ impact in electing candidates of their choice. The district court recognized that the state improperly sorted voters based on race, but created an unsupported new legal standard upholding the districts.

“The district court erred in its constitutional analysis in deciding this case,” said Gerry Hebert, executive director of the Campaign Legal Center. “The U.S. Supreme Court must step in so that voters can continue to effectively succeed in challenging unconstitutional racial gerrymanders where legislatures improperly sort voters on the basis of their race for no constitutional purpose.”

CLC’s brief supports the Virginia citizens and voters challenging the state’s racial gerrymander by laying out direct evidence of racial intent in the creation of the legislative districts and urges the court to overturn the district court’s decision.

The Campaign Legal Center was joined on the brief by the League of Women Voters, The Voting Rights Institute, the Racial Justice Project at New York Law School, the National Council of Jewish Women and the National Association of Social Workers Democracy.

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