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In It to Win It

(8,647 posts)
Thu May 23, 2024, 10:56 AM May 23

SCOTUS reverses a decision that had struck down a South Carolina congressional district as a racial gerrymander

Mark Joseph Stern
@mjs_DC

The Supreme Court's second decision is Alexander v. SC NAACP. By a 6–3 vote, the majority REVERSES a district court decision that had struck down a South Carolina congressional district as a racial gerrymander. Alito writes; all three liberals dissent. https://supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/22-807_3e04.pdf

In a solo concurrence, Clarence Thomas declares his belief that racial gerrymandering claims should be deemed non-justiciable political questions, permanently prohibiting federal courts from scrutinizing allegedly racist redistricting. https://supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/22-807_3e04.pdf


In dissent, Justice Kagan writes that Alito has effectively transformed his earlier dissent in Cooper v. Harris into the law now, making it nearly impossible for federal courts to strike down racist gerrymanders. https://supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/22-807_3e04.pdf


Justice Thomas' opinion in Alexander calls on the Supreme Court to overturn the entire line of redistricting precedents, including Baker v. Carr, that established the principle of "one person, one vote." He argues that federal courts never have authority to redraw districts.

Justice Thomas: "The Constitution provides courts no power to draw districts, let alone any standards by which they can attempt to do so. ... It is well past time for the Court to return these political issues where they belong—the political branches." https://supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/22-807_3e04.pdf

Here's Justice Kagan again, slamming the conservative supermajority for effectively greenlighting racial gerrymandering.

"So this 'odious' practice of sorting citizens, built on racial generalizations and exploiting racial divisions, will continue." https://supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/22-807_3e04.pdf


As usual, Justice Alito sounds deeply aggrieved that the plaintiffs would accuse the South Carolina legislature of racial gerrymandering. He seemingly views this accusation as a far, far greater offense than the legislature's actual practice of diluting Black residents' votes.

Justice Thomas' concurrence also takes aim at Brown v. Board of Education, faulting the Supreme Court for taking "a boundless view of equitable remedies" through "extravagant uses of judicial power" to end racial segregation in the 1950s and 60s. https://supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/22-807_3e04.pdf




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SCOTUS reverses a decision that had struck down a South Carolina congressional district as a racial gerrymander (Original Post) In It to Win It May 23 OP
So, both racial and political gerrymandering are no_hypocrisy May 23 #1
Not racial FBaggins May 23 #3
"discriminatory intent" meaning as long as they didn't mean to be racist racial gerrymandering is okay? This SCOTUS is d uponit7771 May 24 #4
Close, but not quite FBaggins May 24 #5
K&R. nt sl8 May 23 #2

no_hypocrisy

(47,026 posts)
1. So, both racial and political gerrymandering are
Thu May 23, 2024, 11:03 AM
May 23

legal. Until more liberal jurists are on the Bench.

I guess that’s one way to get a republican majority in The House.

FBaggins

(27,250 posts)
3. Not racial
Thu May 23, 2024, 11:34 AM
May 23

One of the concurrences came close to that and the dissent accuses the majority of it…


But the ruling is that racial gerrymandering is illegal, but that there was insufficient evidence of it in this case.

IOW - in line with a few recent decisions - disparate impact is not enough to prove discriminatory intent.

uponit7771

(90,543 posts)
4. "discriminatory intent" meaning as long as they didn't mean to be racist racial gerrymandering is okay? This SCOTUS is d
Fri May 24, 2024, 09:01 PM
May 24

FBaggins

(27,250 posts)
5. Close, but not quite
Fri May 24, 2024, 09:13 PM
May 24

Racial gerrymandering could still be out - but they won't infer that a given gerrymander is racial rather than political just because racial and political demographics overlap.

My "discriminatory intent" comment was really aligning this ruling with some of their employment rulings in recent years. Not that long ago, employers could run into trouble if a given HR policy (for instance) ended up impacting a racial minority differently than other groups - even if there was no evidence that the company intended that to happen. That's no longer the case under this court and this ruling is similar.

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