UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT: CHALLENGE TO SECTION 5

Shelby v. Holder (amicus) 570 U.S. ___ (2012)

Shelby County asserted that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority when it reauthorized Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act for another 25 years in 200.  SCSJ represented political science and law professors who advocated in an amicus brief for the continued necessity of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and the rationality of the coverage formula employed by Section 5.  On  June 25, 2013, the Court struck down the coverage formula, effectively halting enforcement of Section 5. Read more about the decision here. 

LaRoque v. Holder, 679 F.3d 905 (D.C. Cir. 2012), cert. denied sub nom, Nix v Holder 133 S.Ct. 610 (2012)

Residents of the city of Kinston, N.C., brought a facial challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act after the Department of Justice denied preclearance of  a proposed voting change in Kinston that would have replaced the city partisan electoral system with a non-partisan system and thus weakened the ability of African-American voters to elect candidates of their choosing. SCSJ represented the North Carolina NAACP and citizens who, as Defendant-Intervenors defended Section 5. The Department of Justice withdrew its objection to the change during litigation and the United States Supreme Court denied review of the case in 2013.

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FLORIDA

Romo v. Detzner

SCSJ represents the Florida NAACP in defending the constitutionality of districts in the Florida congressional plan that allow African-American voters to elect their candidates of choice.

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GEORGIA

[COMING SOON]

 

NORTH CAROLINA

NC NAACP v. North Carolina

SCSJ represents nonpartisan civic engagement groups and individual plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the state legislative and Congressional plans in North Carolina. Plaintiffs allege that many districts are unconstitutionally based on race and violate traditional redistricting principles.

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TENNESSEE

Moore v. Haslam

SCSJ represents African-American citizens challenging the constitutionality of the Tennessee state Senate plan. Plaintiffs allege that the plan divides more counties than allowed by the state constitution.  This case is currently on appeal to the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

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TEXAS

Perez v.  Perry

SCSJ represents the Texas NAACP and individual citizens who are challenging the constitutionality of districts in the Texas state House, Senate and Congressional plans. Plaintiffs argue that the legislature drew districts to intentionally dilute the African-American and Latino vote in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.   We put on evidence during a two-week trial in 2011, and are still awaiting a ruling in that case.  We have been advocates in ensuring that court-issued interim redistricting plans were fair to voters of color.

Texas v. United States

At the same time as its legislative and Congressional plans were being challenged under Section 2, The State of Texas sought preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in the District Court for the District of Columbia. SCSJ represents the Texas NAACP and individual citizens opposing preclearance of the plans because certain districts harmed the rights of minority voters. At trial in 2012, the D.C. District Court denied preclearance to each of the plans. The evidence we presented was critical to a finding of intentional discrimination by the D.C. District Court.  The case is awaiting review by the United States Supreme Court.

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