NAACP Considering Challenging Pa.’s New Congressional Map
The organization is reviewing whether the court-imposed boundaries could hinder minority voters.
Pennsylvania’s new congressional map could soon face multiple challenges.
Republicans have vowed to attempt to fight the map in federal court. Now the state chapter of the NAACP says it’s also mulling an objection.
The NAACP has submitted a copy of the map to its legal review team. Members of the organization are concerned that the map might violate the requirements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which maintains that redistricting must allow minorities the opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice.
Members of the NAACP and Common Cause, which helped lead the challenge against state’s former congressional map, told the Inquirer that while the new map is a “really big win for democracy in Pennsylvania,” they want to make sure it does not disenfranchise minority voters.
Under the new map, people of color account for the majority of residents in only one district – the 3rd Congressional District, in Philadelphia. Under the previous map, which the NAACP argued constituted voter suppression, people of color comprised the majority in two Philadelphia-area districts.
Michael McDonald, an associate professor of political science of the University of Florida, told The New York Times that it could be possible to argue that the new map is unfair to minority candidates. But he said it would take a long time to prove, if it were possible at all. He told the Inquirer that the Voting Rights Act does not require that the congressional district be drawn to be majority-minority.
State Senate Democratic Appropriations Chair Vincent Hughes said his staff has been analyzing the new map to determine if it has “diminished” the influence of Philadelphia’s African American population, per WHYY.