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South Carolina v. United States

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Political Participation | Voting Rights Act

The State of South Carolina filed South Carolina v. United States in federal court in Washington, D.C. under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, seeking approval of its proposed restrictive voter ID law.  The Department of Justice had already rejected implementation of the law after finding that it would be harmful to minority voters.

Because the proposed voter ID law would impose significant burdens on African-American voters, including student voters, in South Carolina, LDF represented the South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, and an African-American student voter attending a historically Black college in South Carolina, as Defendant-Intervenors in this case. 

South Carolina’s restrictive voter ID law would have a disproportionate effect on voters of color throughout the state.  Nationally, only 8% of white voting age citizens, while 25% of African-American voting age citizens, lack a government-issued photo ID.  In its rejection of the law, the Department of Justice found that minority registered voters in South Carolina are almost 20% more likely than their white counterparts not to possess DMV-issued photo ID that would satisfy the proposed law.

LDF’s clients urged the court to reject South Carolina’s discriminatory photo ID law.

Click here to learn about the case outcome, including how a federal court rejected South Carolina's request to implement its discriminatory photo identification measure in time for the November 2012 elections, while allowing South Carolina to implement its law in 2013 and beyond.