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Press Statement October 13, 2021

NAACP Files Lawsuit In South Carolina as the Legislature Fails to Redraw The State's Districts

View of Front of Courthouse Entrance and Column Architecture

The NAACP filed a lawsuit challenging the current use of malapportioned districts in South Carolina and the state legislature's failure to draw new maps. Following the release of 2020 Census data, the current South Carolina district maps, for both Congress and the State House, the South Carolina legislature has a constitutional duty to redraw the state's districts. However, currently, the legislature is neglecting that duty as they have called the redistricting committees to recess without producing new maps. Instead, the legislature has chosen to pause its redistricting effort until 2022 when the new legislative session will begin.

As such, South Carolinians are left to live under maps that are severely malapportioned and in violation of constitutional one-person, one-vote protections. Additionally, because of the timing of the next legislative session, political candidates are pushed up against filing deadlines without the knowledge necessary to know which district they will be able to run in. This directly impedes South Carolina voters' right of association limiting their ability to engage in the electoral process and express their political voice.

"This underhanded tactic to ignore the constitutional duty to redraw the state's districts is negligent and warrants an investigation," said Brenda C. Murphy, South Carolina State Conference President. "South Carolina's State Legislature must fulfill their responsibility of drawing new state lines that are in line with the 2020 Census Data. Failure to do so is a slight against the people of South Carolina." 

The South Carolina State Conference is represented by the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund. LDF has been closely collaborating with the ACLU-National and ACLU of South Carolina on the legal and factual investigation for litigation. The ACLU-National and ACLU of South Carolina, joined by Counsel from Arnold & Porter.