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The U.S. Supreme Court docket on Tuesday declined to dam implementation of a voting rights choice in Alabama that the Supreme Court docket issued simply months in the past.
In June, the courtroom dominated that Alabama’s Republican-drawn congressional map violated the Voting Rights Act, as a result of in a state with seven congressional districts and a 27% black inhabitants, the GOP-dominated Legislature created just one congressional district the place black voters may vote. Through which. Whether or not it’s the majority or near it.
The courtroom’s 5-to-4 choice upheld a unanimous choice by a decrease courtroom panel of three justices together with two Trump appointees; The decrease courtroom requested the creation of a second majority black parliamentary district, and the Supreme Court docket agreed. However when the difficulty was despatched again to the state Legislature with orders to create a second, majority-black district, GOP lawmakers didn’t accomplish that. As a substitute, they elevated the variety of black voters from 30% to 40% in a single district.
This led to a pointy rebuke from the decrease courtroom. Going through what it noticed as delaying techniques and a deliberate defiance of the Supreme Court docket’s choice, the decrease courtroom appointed a particular grasp to attract a brand new congressional map that included two majority-black districts. Underscoring its displeasure with the state, the three-judge panel declined to remain its order, noting that Alabama had already held one congressional election in 2022 utilizing an “illegitimate map.”
Nevertheless, the state appealed to the Supreme Court docket for a second time in an try and delay the creation of a brand new map. The state stated time ought to be allowed for a brand new authorized line of assault.
However the justices on Tuesday refused to postpone the decrease courtroom’s drawing of a brand new map that features two majority or near-majority black districts. in The courtroom stated in an unsigned order: “The request for a keep submitted to Justice Thomas, who referred him to the courtroom, was rejected.”
No rationale was provided and there was no notable opposition.
The Supreme Court docket’s motion was one more rebuke of Alabama’s techniques, and served as a reminder that the Voting Rights Act, which the courtroom’s conservatives as soon as seen as now not essential, stays a restricted however crucial buffer in opposition to the deliberate dilution of black voting energy.
Actually, the Supreme Court docket’s motion on Tuesday may bolster challenges to maps drawn by Republican-dominated legislatures in different Southern states the place civil rights teams and Democrats have filed lawsuits alleging Republicans are illegally diluting the ability of black voters.