The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Malik Russell, or Joy,

NAACP Wins in NC Racial Gerrymandering Case

Legislature ordered to fix racial gerrymandering violation in next session


The North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP obtained yet another ruling that the North Carolina legislative map violates legal requirements. Today, a three-judge panel of the North Carolina General Court of Justice, Superior Court Division, ruled that four districts in the North Carolina House of Representatives (Districts 36, 37, 40 and 41) violate the prohibition in the North Carolina Constitution on mid-decade redistricting. The four districts in question were redrawn, along with several other North Carolina legislative districts, following a 2016 ruling by a federal court that several districts in the 2011 North Carolina legislative map constituted racial gerrymanders in violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection guarantee.

"This is an important victory for the NAACP as we fight to ensure that communities of color have a full opportunity to elect representatives who will protect their interests in state legislatures across the country" said Bradford M. Berry, NAACP General Counsel.

Following the remedial phase of the federal case, the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP filed suit in state court arguing that redrawing Districts 36, 37, 40 and 41 was unnecessary to remedy the violations found by the federal court, and therefore unlawful under the North Carolina Constitution. Today, a three-judge panel of the North Carolina court agreed.

"From the time of Reconstruction and beforehand, opponents of a true democracy have attempted to silence and suppress Black political power, and each time we've stood strong and fought back - today is one of those times," said Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, NAACP North Carolina State President. "We are committed to this fight of making democracy real for all of us and stand ready to do battle against those who seek to shrink this ideal."

The North Carolina State NAACP partnered with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice on this legal victory.

Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.