The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and coalition partners submitted joint testimony to the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee’s Redistricting Subcommittee regarding two proposed Congressional redistricting maps at a Redistricting Hearing this week: House Congressional Plan 2 Senate Amendment 1 and House Congressional Plan 2 Senate Amendment 2. Coalition partners include LDF, the South Carolina NAACP, the ACLU, and the ACLU of South Carolina.
In their joint testimony, the coalition —and the thousands of South Carolinians that their organizations collectively represent—urge the Legislature to focus its attention on the Senate plan designated as Amendment 2 and pass a Congressional map closer to that proposal than any other. Amendment 2 comes much closer to accurately reflecting Black political power in South Carolina and being more responsive to comments and concerns repeatedly raised by members of the public during this redistricting cycle. Like the maps proposed by LDF and coalition partners, Amendment 2 does not unnecessarily pack additional Black voters into Congressional District 6 (CD 6). This will likely provide Black voters with the opportunity to have an impact and influence the outcome of elections outside of CD 6, as is only appropriate in a state where Black voters are at least 29% of the voting-age population. Simply put, Amendment 2 is the best Congressional plan proposed to date by either the House or Senate during the current redistricting cycle.
The letter also raises alarm about several issues with the Senate Map designated as Amendment 1. Unlike Amendment 2, Amendment 1 fails to reflect the voting strength of Black South Carolinian voters, particularly outside of Congressional district 6 (CD 6) —despite months of written and oral testimony explaining why this would be disastrous for South Carolina’s marginalized, yet vitally significant and contributory, communities. Amendment 1 also ensures that there are no politically competitive Congressional districts in South Carolina by cracking Black communities to achieve this end. Amendment 1 significantly drops the Black voting-age population in CD 6, and does not provide any meaningful opportunities for Black voters to elect candidates of choice in any other district, given the racially polarized voting patterns in the state.
Read the full testimony here.
LDF has been closely monitoring the redistricting processes in South Carolina and other key states to prevent discriminatory redistricting plans and ensure that legislatures comply with their obligations under the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution. Read 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. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.