Mon. May 20th, 2024

From today’s NBC News:

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down Republican-drawn congressional districts in Alabama that civil rights activists say discriminated against Black voters in a surprise reaffirmation of the landmark Voting Rights Act.

The court in a 5-4 vote ruled against Alabama, meaning the map of the seven congressional districts, which heavily favors Republicans, will now be redrawn. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, both conservatives, joined the court’s three liberals in the majority.

In doing so, the court — which has a 6-3 conservative majority — turned away the state’s effort to make it harder to remedy concerns raised by civil rights advocates that the power of Black voters in states like Alabama is being diluted by dividing voters into districts where white voters dominate.

In the ruling, Roberts, writing for the majority, said a lower court had correctly concluded that the congressional map violated the voting rights law.

In 2013, Roberts authored a ruling that gutted a separate, important provision of the Voting Rights Act and has long argued that various government efforts to address historic racial discrimination are problematic and may exacerbate the situation.

He wrote in Thursday’s ruling that there are genuine fears that the Voting Rights Act “may impermissibly elevate race in the allocation of political power” and that the Alabama ruling “does not diminish or disregard those concerns.”

The court instead “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 added.

As such, the court left open future challenges to the law, with Kavanaugh writing in a separate opinion that his vote did not rule out challenges to Section 2 based on whether there is a time at which the 1965 law’s authorization of the consideration of race in redistricting is no longer justified.

Read the complete story here.

By Editor