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Supreme Court rejects Alabama’s racist attempt to dilute the Black vote

By Lee Cleveland - June 13, 2023

Roberts and Kavanaugh… That probably answers your question but we hope you continue reading.

The U.S. Supreme Court made a notable ruling, with a 5-4 decision against the congressional maps drawn in Alabama. The Court declared that these maps were the result of racist gerrymandering.

This surprising decision saw Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, both part of the conservative bloc, joining the three liberal bloc members to form the majority opinion. The ruling deviated from expectations that the restrictions to the Voting Rights Act (VRA) would be further curtailed.

The Court agreed with a lower appellate court’s finding that Alabama officials unfairly concentrated Black voters into one majority-Black district while diluting their voting power in other majority-white districts.

Despite Black Alabamans comprising approximately 27 percent of the state’s population, the maps limited their ability to elect lawmakers effectively.

Alabama officials argued that the maps were race-neutral and constitutional, but the Court ruled that Alabama was attempting to set new standards for drawing districts in contradiction to established Supreme Court precedent.

The Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court’s ruling that required a new map to be drawn, including the creation of a second majority-Black or near-majority district. Consequently, Alabama will need to redraw its maps to allocate an additional majority-Black district within its congressional delegation.

Chief Justice Roberts, while opposing the gerrymandered districts, left open the possibility of further diluting the VRA in the future. He stated that the majority’s ruling does not disregard conservative justices’ concerns about the law potentially prioritizing race in political power allocation within states. Nonetheless, Roberts highlighted that the map drawn by Alabama lawmakers did not faithfully adhere to precedent.

The implications of this ruling may extend to two other cases in Louisiana and Georgia, where Black voters argue that gerrymandered maps have diluted their votes and deprived them of additional majority or near-majority districts.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the ACLU of Alabama praised the ruling as a win against ongoing attacks on voting rights. They emphasized the need for fair and inclusive redistricting that considers race to ensure that communities of color are not disenfranchised.

Overall, this decision marks a significant step in addressing racist gerrymandering in Alabama and emphasizes the importance of fair representation in the electoral process.

Shame on the four naysayers, including and especially Chief Justice Thomas.


Tags: racism, U.S. Supreme Court