Thursday, May 23, 2024

Blacks are not a protected group under the Voting Rights Act. Republicans are.

 The Supreme Court, which has become an extension of the Republican Party, just ruled on a voting rights issue in South Carolina. 

The Voting Rights Act called out that states could not gerrymander electoral districts to disadvantage minorities. They overruled Alabama maps that did just this.

But the Republicans have a new tact. In South Carolina, they redrew districts to dilute the power of black voters - a violation of the Voting Rights Act. However, the Supreme Court allowed this map to stand because it only tried to make a Republican seat out of a Democratic district. (Note for Brits: Representatives must live in the district they represent.)

So, the assumption spelled out by the court is that you aren't allowed to disenfranchise Blacks. But you can disenfranchise the voters of either party. The Supreme Court decided that since all the Black people disenfranchised would vote Democratic, it was legal.

The problem with this is that the Court is deciding that a group of people - Democrats - can be gerrymandered out of a district. And that all Blacks will vote Democratic. 

This is a novel and convenient way to make racial gerrymandering legal.

And the US democracy takes another step toward Supreme Court-ordered oblivion.


However, even this didn't go far enough for Justice Clarence Thomas ...

Thomas' wife subsidized and participated in the January 6th insurrection, but he didn't recuse himself. He agreed but wrote that the ruling didn't go far enough. He said courts have no right to rule on districts because it isn't in the Constitution. NOw, the Voting Rights Act IS the law because Congress passed it. Justice Thomas doesn't care. He would overturn the voting Rights Act. And he thinks it all (the assumption of equality and the rule of 1 person, 1 vote) rests on the incorrect decision on Board V Brown. Let's let Slate explain it.

The Supreme Court’s 6–3 decision on Thursday in Alexander v. South Carolina NAACP is a devastating blow to the fight against racial gerrymandering. Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion for the conservative supermajority guts a series of precedents that guarded against racist redistricting, granting state legislatures sweeping new authority to sort their residents between districts on the basis of skin color.

And yet, as bad as Alito’s opinion was, it didn’t go far enough for Justice Clarence Thomas, who penned a solo concurrence demanding a radical move: The Supreme Court, he argued, should overrule every precedent that limits gerrymandering—including the landmark cases establishing “one person, one vote”—because it has no constitutional power to redraw maps in the first place. And he places much of the blame for the court’s allegedly illegitimate intrusion into redistricting on a surprising culprit: Brown v. Board of Education.

The Supreme Court’s 6–3 decision on Thursday in Alexander v. South Carolina NAACP is a devastating blow to the fight against racial gerrymandering. Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion for the conservative supermajority guts a series of precedents that guarded against racist redistricting, granting state legislatures sweeping new authority to sort their residents between districts on the basis of skin color.

And yet, as bad as Alito’s opinion was, it didn’t go far enough for Justice Clarence Thomas, who penned a solo concurrence demanding a radical move: The Supreme Court, he argued, should overrule every precedent that limits gerrymandering—including the landmark cases establishing “one person, one vote”—because it has no constitutional power to redraw maps in the first place. And he places much of the blame for the court’s allegedly illegitimate intrusion into redistricting on a surprising culprit: Brown v. Board of Education.

Brown was, of course, the 1954 decision holding that racial segregation in public education violates the equal protection clause. Many of us celebrated its 70th anniversary just last week. But Brown has always had its detractors, and Thomas has long been one of them. He has written that the decision rested on a “great flaw” by focusing on the stigma that Jim Crow inflicted on schoolchildren. He rejected Brown’s assertion that Black children suffered constitutional harm when denied access to integrated education. And he condemned the court’s ongoing efforts to remedy decades of segregation by integrating public school systems by judicial decree, decrying these integration efforts as “predicated on black inferiority.


 

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