Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., with co-counsel Hogan Lovells and Fred Banks, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi in a redistricting case opposing the state’s recently enacted Congressional redistricting plan. LDF’s brief argues that Mississippi’s drawing of Congressional District 2 – the state’s one Black-majority district – is a racial gerrymander, in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, because it packed Black voters into the district. Along with LDF, the amici curiae are the Mississippi Conference of the NAACP, One Voice, and the Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute.
By setting a racial target of 61% for the Black voting age population to be included in Congressional District 2, the Legislature used race as the predominant factor in drawing the district’s lines, subordinating traditional redistricting principles. The state’s use of race was not narrowly tailored to advance a compelling interest, as it presented no evidence that the Legislature performed any type of analysis to determine that a 61% BVAP was necessary to provide Black voters an opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.
Read the full amicus brief here.
LDF has been deeply involved in the redistricting process in key states to prevent discriminatory redistricting plans and ensure legislatures comply with their obligations under the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution. Learn more about LDF’s redistricting work here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.