- CupcakKe’s month-long ‘water fast’ has fans concerned 2 Years Ago
- Will.i.am claims ‘racist’ flight attendant called police on him Today 10:28 AM
- How does Disney+ compare to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Apple TV+? Today 9:35 AM
- How to stream Patriots vs. Eagles live Today 9:30 AM
- Girl turns herself into ‘pleading face’ emoji Today 9:27 AM
- How to stream Cowboys vs. Lions live Today 9:00 AM
- Chaotic good, true neutral: The 2020 Democrat alignment chart Today 6:30 AM
- How to stream Mexico vs. Brazil live in the U-17 World Cup final Today 3:00 AM
- Influencer gets prison time for performing illegal cosmetic procedures on followers Saturday 5:13 PM
- Parent immediately regrets baby monitor after seeing ‘possessed’ baby Saturday 3:53 PM
- Buttigieg used Kenyan stock photo to promote plan for Black America (updated) Saturday 2:29 PM
- Disney+ is the best streaming service for families available today Saturday 1:43 PM
- Netflix to amend Nazi docuseries after being accused of rewriting history Saturday 1:09 PM
- Everything you need to know about TikTok Saturday 1:00 PM
- Screaming drummer girl steals hearts with passionate Nirvana cover Saturday 12:50 PM
On Monday, the Supreme Court found that North Carolina had unconstitutionally gerrymandered two congressional district maps on the basis of race, ruling that race cannot be used to draw district lines unless for a “compelling reason.”
With Justice Neil Gorsuch abstaining (the case was heard before he was confirmed), the swing vote came somewhat surprisingly from conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, who sided with the four liberal justices in a vote of five to eight. However, those who follow Thomas’ rulings would know that he has voted against racial gerrymandering, whether to the benefit of Democrats or Republicans, since the 1990s.
In the recent case of Cooper v. Harris, the two district maps in question had grouped a large majority of the black population in one district and few in the other, in turn diluting the votes in the second.
“The Constitution entrusts states with the job of designing congressional districts,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her majority opinion. “But it also imposes an important constraint: A state may not use race as the predominant factor in drawing district lines unless it has a compelling reason.”
In the past, North Carolina argued that gerrymandered district maps were drawn in order to comply with the Voting Rights Act, which requires legislatures to consider race in district line decisions. SCOTUS ruled in 2001 that gerrymandering is permissible if done along partisan lines, even if race and political parties are synonymous.
But now Monday’s ruling will likely serve as a basis for gerrymandering cases across the South, and will help plaintiffs prove that states unlawfully redrew districts.
“North Carolina voters deserve a level playing field and fair elections, and I’m glad the Supreme Court agrees,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said. “The North Carolina Republican legislature tried to rig congressional elections by drawing unconstitutional districts that discriminated against African-Americans and that’s wrong.”
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.