On the Supreme Court, Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh teamed up with Democrat justices to violate the Constitution and insist that Alabama must create a Democrat majority black district.
When the Supreme Court considered the challenge to an Alabama congressional map that shortchanged the state’s Black voters, liberal justices expected the conservative majority to side with Alabama – if not gut the 1965 Voting Rights Act altogether.
What happened next defied predictions from inside and outside the court. A series of negotiations, most notably between Chief Justice John Roberts and fellow conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh, transformed what many thought would be a ruling undercutting the Voting Rights Act into a forceful affirmation of the law.
Roberts and Kavanaugh enjoy a decades-old kinship and often confer privately on matters
Which is why he should not have been nominated. A friendship with Roberts is utterly disqualifying.
The dispute centers on maps drawn by the Republican-controlled Alabama legislature that include just one majority-Black congressional district (among a total of seven), despite a 27% black population in the state. A three-judge US district court found – first in a January 2022 decision – that the legislature unlawfully diluted black voting power by packing much of the African American population into one district and dividing the rest among other districts. The judges directed Alabama to draw “two districts in which black voters either comprise a voting-age majority or something quite close to it.”
Gerrymandering is a slimy practice, but majority racial districts are completely unconstitutional. There’s a good argument for preventing one party from extreme gerrymandering, but the move by Kavanaugh to back the VRA is an absolute disaster and is the work of a man who, unlike Alito and Thomas (but unfortunately like Gorsuch and ACB) is not a solidly grounded conservative, but a liberal Republican with some conservative positions.
It’s not just Alabama either. Let’s look at Louisiana.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to cancel a lower court’s hearing for selecting a new redistricting plan that U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick had scheduled to start on Oct. 3.
“The district court did not follow the law of the Supreme Court or this court. Its action in rushing redistricting via a court-ordered map is a clear abuse of discretion for which there is no alternative means of appeal,” U.S. Circuit Judge Edith Jones, a Reagan appointee, wrote in the majority opinion, which was joined by Circuit Judge James Ho, a Trump appointee.
The ruling issued Thursday, which could be reviewed by the full 5th Circuit court or the U.S. Supreme Court, delays the process for creating a new congressional map to replace one that Dick found likely violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by diluting the voting power of black Louisianans.
The map approved by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature includes only one district out of six where black Louisianans — who make up close to a third of the state’s population — have a realistic opportunity of electing their preferred candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. Dick, however, has ruled that to get in line with the Voting Rights Act, there should be two opportunity districts for black voters.
Given how racially polarized voting is in Louisiana, those districts would likely elect Democratic candidates, who could help Democrats take back control of the U.S. House after next year’s elections…
In court filings, their attorneys have signaled they’re preparing a novel argument to defend the state legislature-approved map. They cite the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on affirmative action to argue that race-based redistricting under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act may no longer be constitutional.
Good luck with that argument considering Kavanaugh’s betrayal of the United States Constitution.
The distortion field of the VRA (along with much of civil rights legislation) allows Democrats to argue that when Republicans gerrymander, it’s a civil rights violation, because Democrat voters are black, while Democrat gerrymandering that eliminates Republican districts, is fine because Republicans are white.
This is the same civil rights effect that Democrats have weaponized to create two sets of rules for the two parties.