Jaws drop as Supreme Court — including Brett Kavanaugh — shoots down racist Alabama congressional map
The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a major bombshell on Thursday, June 8 when it ruled, 5-4, in the case Allen v. Milligan that an Alabama congressional map was discriminatory against Black voters. And Justice Brett Kavanaugh, much to the surprise of many legal experts, turned out to be the swing vote.
Critics of the Roberts Court had been predicting a 6-3 or 5-4 decision upholding the Alabama law as constitutional. But Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts joined three Democrat-appointed justices — Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan Ketanji Brown Jackson — in ruling that Alabama's gerrymandered congressional map was racially discriminatory. The four dissenters were Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito and Donald Trump-appointed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett.
Roberts wrote that when Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act was applied, the Alabama voting map was unconstitutional. And Kavanaugh argued that "the constitutional argument presented by" Alabama Republicans in the case was "not persuasive in light of the Court's precedents."
Reactions to the ruling have been plentiful on Twitter.
The National Urban League hailed the High Court's decision as "a key win for voting rights," adding, " The #SupremeCourt issued a surprising ruling in favor of Black voters in a congressional redistricting case, ordering the creation of a second district with a large Black population."
Democracy Docket praised the Court's decision as a "win for voters." And the Tennessee Senate Democrats tweeted, "Local context: This ruling could have legal consequences in Tennessee, where Republicans rigged all of our electoral maps to diminish the voting power of Black voters."
Journalist Nathaniel Rakich, in response to the ruling, tweeted a February 3, 2022 article he wrote for FiveThirtyEight on the case and noted that the Court's Alabama ruling could have "ripple effects."
Rep. Deborah Ross (D-North Carolina), tweeted, "States like Alabama have had a long history of racially gerrymandering maps to dilute the voices of people of color. This is an important victory for voting rights in the South. As more states are attacking the VRA, I'm hopeful that SCOTUS will continue to protect voting rights."
Author Kimberly Ferguson posted, "It's a good day! I thought Trump's indictment was the win. But I am so proud of the Supreme Court giving us rights. I am so overwhelmed."
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