Supreme Court Strikes Down North Carolina Congressional Redistricting Map
- Author: Myrtle Hill May 24, 2017,
May 24, 2017, 5:21
Drawing Congressional district lines based on race is not explicitly forbidden by the Voting Rights Act, although it does mandate that district maps maintain the compactness or coherence of a minority group.
In 2015, the Supreme Court also found that individual majority-minority legislative districts in Alabama were racially gerrymandered, forcing the state to redraw its electoral map.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus declined to comment on the court's request.
The decision was handed down by an unusual coalition of justices, and was the latest in a series of setbacks for Republican-led legislatures.
"That case is now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, and we'll see if they send that back to the lower court to look at that again or whether they take up a case of partisan gerrymandering directly which could happen as soon as the end of this term", Hasen says. Bob Rucho, argued that the 12 District was drawn the way it was to pack Democrats, not African-Americans, into it.
In the coming months, the court is expected to weigh in on a case from Wisconsin involving partisan, not racial, gerrymandering. As election law expert and Slate contributor Rick Hasen writes, however, it is much more than that. Pushing more Democrats into the 1st and 12th left adjoining districts with Republican advantages. Justice Samuel Alito dissented on the 12th district, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy.
As for the 12th District, the court said the evidence offered at trial, including live witness testimony, adequately supports the conclusion that race, not politics, accounted for the district's reconfiguration. Rep. David Price's (D) district also consolidated around Wake and Durham counties.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez called the Supreme Court ruling a "major victory in the fight against Republican attempts to implement discriminatory redistricting plans".More news: Battle of attrition as Ducks try to stay alive vs. Predators
Popular Video SNL is not a fan of the Trump administration, and it shows with every new skit they produce. "This decision lays the groundwork for the challenge to the Republican remedial map ..."
Some of the boundaries that the court took issue with in the 2011 maps are identical to those in the 2013 version.
Cummings said Monday that Flynn provided inconsistent or misleading statements to US security clearance investigators in early 2016 during the renewal of his credentials. "Accordingly, we are confident we will prevail in this case". Population shifts required North Carolina to add 100,000 people to District 1, but no changes were needed in District 12. "So even a district that looks pretty and has nice lines, and everything like that, can still be problematic". "The North Carolina Republican legislature tried to rig congressional elections by drawing unconstitutional districts that discriminated against African-Americans and that's wrong".
In addition to the practical consequences that Monday's ruling could have for redistricting in North Carolina in 2018, and in the rest of the country after the 2020 census, there is a fascinating political twist to the North Carolina case. "We are hopeful that the court will find that, like racial gerrymandering, partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional". In other words, it may be relatively easy to get to strict scrutiny, but the scrutiny is not all that strict.
The contested districts were both held by black Democrats.
That's not what North Carolina Republicans did. As Kagan reiterated, the specific details of the districts matter greatly. Justice Neil Gorsuch didn't take part in the decision.
"I could teach an election law course using only cases from North Carolina", he quips.
"It should be a warning to states about how the court is going to look at these cases, but that doesn't mean that Texas won't appeal", Li said. "North Carolina's maps were among the worst racial gerrymanders in the nation".