Voting rights is one of the most important arguments in the country right now, and so is the problem of election integrity. This means that future elections may face plenty of questions and criticism.
The other major element involves redistricting maps. Depending on how they’re drawn, they can give one party the edge in certain states and districts.
And that’s exactly what just happened in Alabama.
Historically, this southern state has been dominated by a Republican-led legislature, and the government recently approved a redistricting map that appears to favor the GOP.
The opposition quickly retaliated, claiming “racial gerrymandering,” which would be a violation of the Voting Rights Act. They took their case to the courts, hoping to get the new map rescinded.
At first, they got a lower court in Alabama to temporarily block the map, which they considered a significant victory.
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However, after the highest court in the land considered the situation, they decided to rule in favor of the existing redistricting map — and that makes it a win for the state’s GOP.
By a narrow 5-4 margin, the Supreme Court has blocked the lower court order; officially, it’s a “stay” of the original ruling.
Via Washington Examiner:
The Supreme Court on Mondayupheld an Alabama redistricting map drawn by the Republican-held legislature after a federal appeals court panel blocked it over apparent violations of the Voting Rights Act.
By a 5–4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court’s three-member liberal bloc in dissent, justices halted the lower court order, preserving the redrawn map, which critics said diluted black votes.
One of the justices who voted to keep the GOP-leaning map was Brett Kavanaugh, who said this stay will let justices “fully consider” the case in question.
He also rejected the claim that the map violates any citizen’s voting rights, primarily because the court didn’t have “a complete briefing from both parties.”
Currently, Alabama’s House contains 6 Republicans and just 1 Democrat, and they redrew the redistricting map that prevents the chances of another left-wing politico gaining a seat.
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In response, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the map was in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, because it only includes one district that gives black voters the chance to elect a candidate of their choice.
Section 2 clarifies that it’s illegal to deny minorities the opportunity to elect representatives they prefer, so civil rights advocates came out against the map.
They accused the GOP of “cracking” or “packing,” which are types of gerrymandering designed to give voting districts a partisan edge. That’s why the case went as far as the Supreme Court.
But this time, the high court didn’t agree with the lower court’s decision, and leftists in Alabama have to deal with a significant defeat.
It has been difficult for Democrats in Alabama to gain a foothold and this ruling won’t make things any easier. At the same time, Republicans maintain that the map never violated the Voting Rights Act.
Expect to see more lawsuits involving election maps in the near future — they could have a huge impact down the road.