HomeNewsSupreme Court Rejects Alabama’s Congressional District Map, Orders State to Redraw It

    Supreme Court Rejects Alabama’s Congressional District Map, Orders State to Redraw It

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    Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Alabama’s initial congressional map following the 2020 Census violated the Voting Rights Act and ordered that it be redrawn.

    CNN reported that the high court ordered the map to include “an additional black majority district to account for the state’s 27% black population.”

    “The decision – that affords additional opportunities for minority voters to elect the candidate of their choice – comes as a surprise given the conservative majority on the court,” CNN added, noting further that the ruling was 5-4.

    SCOTUS Blog, which tracks rulings in real time, stated previously, “A three-judge district court ruled in this case that the challengers demonstrated a reasonable likelihood of success on their claim that Alabama’s congressional maps violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voter discrimination. Today, the court upholds that decision.”

    In Part III of the decision he authored, Chief Justice John Roberts stated, “At the core of these cases is not the law as it currently stands. It concerns Alabama’s attempt to reform our [Section] 2 law.”

    Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who sided with the court’s liberals and Roberts, “says that he agrees that Alabama’s redistricting plan violates Section 2 as interpreted in Thornburg v. Gingles. He has four separate points to make,” SCOTUS Blog noted, adding:

    First, he argues that courts should not generally overturn statutes; Congress is responsible for that.

    Contrary to what the state claims, he argues that Gingles does not mandate a proportional number of majority-minority districts.

    Kavanaugh disapproves of the notion that courts should rely on race-neutral computer simulations. He stated that this would be useful for determining the presence or absence of intentional discrimination, but the VRA establishes a test for discriminatory effects rather than discriminatory intent.

    In conclusion, Kavanaugh dismisses the claim that mandating racial redistricting violates the Constitution.

    Justice Thomas is joined by Justices Gorsuch in full, Justices Barrett and Alito in part, and Justice Alito in part.

    “We are content to reject Alabama’s invitation to change existing law,” Roberts said, according to CNN.

    It is surprising that Roberts authored the decision, given that he played a significant role in substantially weakening a different section of the Voting Rights Act a decade ago. The network added that this particular section required states with a history of discrimination to seek federal approval before making changes to their election laws.

    Roberts added that Section 2 “may impermissibly elevate race in the allocation of political power within the States is, of course, not new,” but he said the opinion “does not diminish or disregard these concerns” he said.

    “It simply holds that a faithful application of our precedents and a fair reading of the record before us do not bear them out here,” Roberts said, arguing further that he believes Alabama’s argument “runs headlong into our precedent.”

    “A district is not equally open, in other words, when minority voters face – unlike their majority peers – bloc voting along racial lines, arising against the backdrop of substantial racial discrimination within the State, that renders a minority vote unequal to a vote by a nonminority voter,” Roberts added.

    More on this story via Conservative Brief:

    In his dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas argued that the Voting Rights Act should not be applied when it comes to redistricting based on Census. CONTINUE READING…

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