Change the South,
Change the Nation

Donate

Restoring Power to the People

AN EXPLAINER OF NC NAACP v. MOORE

What is Racial Gerrymandering and How Does It Weaken Voting Power

Racial gerrymandering is the practice of redrawing district maps  to attempt to dilute the voting power of disenfranchised communities and communities of color.  It has a direct impact on our elected officials and who represents our voice.

 

Racial Gerrymandering in North Carolina

In 2011, a group of extremist lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly redesigned the state’s electoral maps, using racial gerrymandering as a way to  keep their legislative power.

The racially gerrymandered General Assembly then attempted to amend the state’s constitution by introducing new voting requirements – one requiring a photo ID to vote and one lowering the state income tax cap – even though federal and state courts had already found that these requirements disproportionately create barriers for African Americans, people living in poverty, and other voters of color.

But in 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the 2011 North Carolina electoral maps represented a widespread illegal racial gerrymander that targeted and disenfranchised Black voters.

 

What is the NC NAACP v Moore Lawsuit

In 2018, the North Carolina NAACP challenged the two voting restriction amendments arguing that a racially gerrymandered legislature does not have the power to amend the state constitution. This lawsuit is known as NC NAACP v Moore.

 

The Ruling

On August 19, 2022, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued a groundbreaking ruling that, for the first time in the United States’ history, placed a check on the power of a racially gerrymandered legislature.

The North Carolina Supreme Court ordered that while a racially gerrymandered legislature may continue to engage in ordinary legislative acts such as passing regular legislation, it does not have unlimited power to begin the process of amending our state constitution.

 

The Impact

The court’s ruling represents a historic win for democracy and the people of North Carolina.  However, the fight is not over.  This cycle of targeted policy discrimination against people of color and the poor represents an ongoing threat to our democracy.

Want to learn more about the case? Visit our resources and press pages to see full filings and media coverage.