Headline RoundupJune 8th, 2023

​​Supreme Court Rules Alabama District Map Violates Voting Rights Act

AllSides Summary

The Supreme Court rejected an Alabama redistricting map, ruling it violates the Voting Rights Act by unlawfully diluting the representation of black voters in the state. 

Ruling: The court ruled 5-4 in favor of the plaintiffs in the case of Allen v. Milligan. Conservative Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh joined the three liberal Justices in the majority opinion. The ruling determined Alabama’s congressional map, drawn in 2020, which includes only one black-majority district, should be redrawn to include two black-majority districts to better represent Alabama’s population, which is roughly one-quarter black. Alabama has seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Details: The court affirmed lower courts’ rulings, which cited a precedent set in the 1986 case Thornburg v. Gingles. Under this precedent, plaintiffs must provide evidence of three factors to argue that a racial minority in a state warrants a majority district under the VRA— the racial group must meet a standard of population size and geographic density, it must be politically cohesive, and it must be politically polarized from the racial majority of the state. The court ruled all three factors were met in this case. 

How The Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum concluded the ruling will have major implications on the 2024 election season. HuffPost (Left bias) called the ruling a “surprise decision” since “the court’s conservatives have repeatedly gutted the Voting Rights Act.” Coverage from Fox News (Right bias) did not mention that Justice Kavanaugh sided with the court’s liberal Justices.

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