The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on Tuesday in a high-stakes Alabama redistribution case that could determine the ability of minority voters to use Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to curtail their electoral power.
Case in point, Merrill v. Milligan, is a map prepared by Alabama for its seven seats in the US House of Representatives in 2021. Currently, only one district is majority-black, even though Alabama’s population is 27% black. The only black-majority district to be represented by Democrats. Evan Milligan, who grew up in Alabama and is the executive director of Alabama Forward, which describes itself as a civic engagement group, filed the lawsuit, arguing that the state had two black-majority districts. needed.
A lower court panel of three judges, two of whom were nominated by then-President Trump, agreed with Milligan that Alabama should create new maps so that the state had two majority-black districts. But Alabama argued that the only way to create two majority-black districts is to focus solely on race, which the state argues should not be considered.
And earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to block a lower court-ordered congressional map rescheduling, in a blow to anti-Semitism advocates and Democrats, who are calling for a second black -Majority Congress were hoping to annex the district. mid-term elections of the year. The High Court stayed the verdict against the 2021 map until it decided the matter on merits.
Voters of color are able to challenge maps they consider discriminatory under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, as explained by the Supreme Court in the 1980s. Alabama wants the Supreme Court to rewrite the rules for claims made under that section of the act.
“If I know that I am voting in a district where I come to vote for certain seats no matter how many times my vote is drawn, then for me There is little incentive to participate,” Mulligan said in a recent interview with CBS News.
The Alabama case is being heard on the second day of term in a courtroom involving newly installed Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who filled the vacancy left by former Associate Justice Stephen Breuer. Jackson is the first black woman to serve on the High Court.