Episode 273: ADM for May 19, 2023: Future SCOTUS Case on South Carolina Racial Gerrymandering Could Further Erode Federal Protections

American Democracy Minute

May 18 2023 • 1 min

Future SCOTUS Case on South Carolina Racial Gerrymandering Could Further Erode Federal Protections

Today's Script: (Variations occur with audio due to editing for time)

Today’s Links now below the script

You’re listening to the American Democracy Minute, keeping YOUR government by and for the people.


We have ANOTHER U.S. Supreme Court case to put on your radar, one which could further erode protections against racial gerrymandering by anti-voter state legislatures.   Expect to see Alexander v. South Carolina Conference of the NAACP on next year’s docket.


A three-judge federal panel found in 2021 that a Congressional voting district was gerrymandered to favor Republicans – partisan Gerrymandering – which the U.S. Supreme Court said in a 2019 decision it would leave to state courts.


Vox reports that to accomplish this partisan gerrymander, it moved 79% of Black voters in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District into a nearby district, making the 1st District a safe Republican district.  The federal panel ruled that the move violated the Equal Protections Clause of the 14th Amendment.


Because the current high court has not been friendly to fair redistricting or upholding the 1965 Voting Rights Act, democracy advocates are concerned that the South Carolina case could further erode laws designed to provide equal representation of Black Americans and other minority groups.  If the court finds that the primary motivation was PARTISAN gerrymandering, not RACIAL gerrymandering, it creates a loophole that anti-democracy legislatures could exploit and get away with.


Expect this case to be on the SCOTUS docket in next year’s term.


We have links to articles and the federal circuit court panel’s decision at AmericanDemocracyMinute.org. Follow us on Facebook @AmericanDemocracyMinute.  I’m Brian Beihl.


Today’s Links

Articles & Resources:
U.S. Supreme Court - Docket for Thomas C. Alexander, in His Official Capacity as President of the South Carolina Senate, et al., Appellants v. The South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, et al.
U.S. Supreme Court - On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
SCOTUS Blog - Justices take up challenge to purported racial gerrymander in South Carolina’s congressional map
Vox - A new Supreme Court case threatens to make gerrymandering even worse
Democracy Docket - South Carolina Redistricting Challenge
Politico - Supreme Court to hear racial redistricting case from South Carolina

Groups Taking Action:
South Carolina Conference of the NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, The American Redistricting Project, ACLU

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