Robinson Bradshaw Represents Legislative Black Caucus as Amicus in NC Supreme Court



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Dec. 9, 2020

Robinson Bradshaw filed an amicus brief in the North Carolina Supreme Court on behalf of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus. The brief supports the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP in a case challenging the validity of two amendments to the North Carolina Constitution.

A trial court previously ruled that the 2018 constitutional amendments regarding voter ID and the income tax cap are unconstitutional because they were proposed to the people of North Carolina by a legislative supermajority elected through unconstitutional racial gerrymandering, which tainted North Carolina's state legislative maps from 2011 through 2018. The state’s Court of Appeals recently overturned that ruling, allowing the constitutional amendments to stand.

The NAACP is arguing that the state Supreme Court should overturn the Court of Appeals’ decision. The Caucus supports the NAACP's position in its amicus brief, arguing that the Court of Appeals gave too little weight to the severity of the racial gerrymandering that gave rise to this case and that diminished minority voting strength and limited minority representation in the General Assembly. The brief also states that the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that invalidating the constitutional amendments would then allow all laws passed by a gerrymandered legislature to be called into question. Instead, the brief argues, the General Assembly’s authority to propose constitutional amendments is distinct from, and more limited than, its authority to enact ordinary legislation.

Robinson Bradshaw attorneys Robert E. Harrington, Adam K. Doerr, Erik R. Zimmerman and Travis S. Hinman served as counsel to the Caucus.

The North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus is an association of North Carolina state senators and representatives of African American, American Indian and Asian American heritage. The Caucus works to ensure that the views and concerns of African Americans and other communities of color are heard and to develop the political consciousness of citizens of all communities and cultures. 

A copy of the brief is available here.

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