Why Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act may be going away.
Justice Anthony Kennedy is apparently spreading marmalade on his English muffins again: During oral arguments in the Voting Rights Act case, a majority of justices appeared prepared to turn aside the solicitor general’s argument that the law’s requirement that jurisdictions with a track record of racial discrimination preclear any changes to their voting systems with Washington. Justice Antonin Scalia dismissed this feature of the Voting | Read More »
Supreme Court smacks lower courts in TX redistricting case.
Details here and here: the short version is that the USSC decided that a lower court erred because it had, to quote the New York Times, “not paid enough deference to the Legislature’s choices and had improperly substituted its own values for those of elected officials.” The underlying issue is that there is an ongoing dispute over how the new Texas federal Congressional map should | Read More »
Maryland redistricting map to get Voter Rights Act challenge.
So… the Maryland redistricting map was revealed and signed into law recently, and – shock! Surprise! – the Democratic-controlled legislature managed to hack into one of the two Republican seats. The short version: they went into Roscoe Bartlett’s MD-06, switched out a bunch of districts to make it more competitive, and then put central Maryland into the redistricting blender and hit ‘puree.’ Because, well, central | Read More »
Democrats condemn racist redistricting map! …for Illinois.
No, really: all three African-American Congressmen from Illinois are loudly complaining that the current redistricting map as drawn may be in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Illinois Republicans are currently suing to have the map overturned, largely on the grounds that under the usual interpretation of federal law the new map needs to have more than one majority-Hispanic district. As this | Read More »
2nd NC redistricting map more pointed than 1st one.
When the first North Carolina redistricting map came out at the beginning of July, Democrats of course bawled like stuck calves. Speaking objectively, this wasn’t a surprise: the way that it was set up, it put four Democratic Congressmen – Larry Kissell, Mike McIntyre, Brad Miller, & Heath Shuler – at a serious disadvantage in the 2012 elections. Put simply, the map threatened to flip | Read More »