The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) filed a response in opposition to the City of Pleasant Grove’s motion to dismiss our lawsuit challenging the city’s at-large method of electing the city council, which has prevented a Black candidate from ever being elected to the City Council. LDF’s response asserts that there is substantial evidence that the city’s current voting model violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution.
“Courts have found time and time again that the at-large voting model disadvantages voters of color by denying them an equal opportunity to participate in the political process,” said LDF Senior Counsel Catherine Meza. “Pleasant Grove’s Black residents deserve to be equally represented.”
Pleasant Grove has a well-documented history of racial discrimination in voting, education, employment, and housing. In City of Pleasant Grove v. United States (1987), the U.S. Supreme Court found that the city had intentionally discriminated when it annexed nearby unincorporated white communities, but not similarly situated Black communities. In August of 2017, LDF won a similar lawsuit against Louisiana state officials, where an at-large voting model had prevented a Black candidate from being elected to the state judiciary in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. The court held that Louisiana had intentionally discriminated in refusing to adopt single member districts that would permit Black voters to elect candidates of their choice.
Read our full response to Pleasant Grove’s motion to dismiss here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and 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.