High Court Ruling On NC Voting Districts May Affect Georgia


The high court's 5-3 ruling announced Monday is only one in which districts drawn by Republicans across the United States have been challenged on the basis of alleged gerrymandering. - Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett).

The justices disagreed, finding that the 1st District - in which the black voting-age population increased from 47.6 percent to 52.65 percent - "produced boundaries amplifying divisions between blacks and whites", while in the 12th - in which the black voting-age population increased from 43.7 percent to 50.66 percent - "race, not politics, accounted for the district's reconfiguration", Kagan wrote.

Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, dissented on the matter of the 12th District, USA Today reported, asserting that the district was redrawn to give Republicans a better shot at winning, not to disenfranchise Black voters.

Alito wrote the dissenting opinion saying that the challengers did not prove lines weren't part of a partisan strategy. Meanwhile, the ruling upheld the order of the lower court. In that case the challengers lost because they did not produce an alternative map.

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The other has to do with a federal ruling that 28 of the North Carolina's 170 state legislative districts are also racial gerrymanders.

Those changes helped change the state's congressional delegation from 7-6 Democratic in 2010 to 10-3 Republican in 2016 - a trend that Alito said resulted from "a coherent (and generally successful) political strategy".

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"North Carolina voters deserve a level playing field and fair elections and I'm glad the Supreme Court agrees", said Cooper in a statement released Monday. The court ruled yesterday - Supreme Court - that the Republican-controlled legislature in North Carolina had drawn two congressional districts that amount to unconstitutional racial gerrymandering.

The state asserted that it had given one of the districts a majority of black voters to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act, which under certain circumstances can require such a district. They prefer districts that are only 30% or so black so blacks, together with homosexuals, union members, wacko environmentalists, government employees, and brainwashed college graduates, can elect Democrats.

The case involved the 1 District, in the northeastern part of the state, and the 12 District, which ran from Charlotte to Greensboro. Alabama left open two questions that Cooper and an earlier case from this term, Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections, try to answer: (1) How does a court go about deciding whether a state drew an individual district predominantly on the basis of race such that strict scrutiny applies? A group of Republican voters sued, arguing that the state had used race to shape the districts in violation of the 14Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

It's unclear right now if the districts re-drawn in 2016 will also be invalidated.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that North Carolina illegally packed black voters into two voting districts.

But the redrawn districts have been legally challenged, too, and it seems probable the courts may reject the new ones on the same grounds.

"This will lead to many more successful racial gerrymandering cases in the American South and elsewhere, and allow these cases to substitute for (so far unsuccessful) partisan gerrymandering claims involving some of these districts", Hasen wrote on his blog. "It is a logical response to the hard problem of distinguishing between racial and political motivations when race and political party preference closely correlate", Alito wrote, noting there was "strong evidence" that the map was drawn to "maximize Republican opportunities".