Supreme Court rejects South Carolina voter map challenge | US elections 2024

Supreme Court rejects South Carolina voter map challenge | US elections 2024
Supreme Court rejects South Carolina voter map challenge | US elections 2024

The United States Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal against a South Carolina state election map accused by civil rights organizations of having been drawn based on racial considerations.

Democratic President Joe Biden denounced a decision that undermines the basic principle that electoral practices should not discriminate on the basis of race.

This thorny issue could help determine who, Democrats or Republicans, will control the House of Representatives next year.

The Supreme Court, dominated by conservative justices, ruled six to three that an electoral map drawn up by South Carolina’s Republican-majority legislature did not constitute a form of illegal redistricting.

THE gerrymandering is a partisan electoral division which consists of moving the borders of constituencies according to the interests of the party in power. It is prohibited when it is done on racial grounds.

Constituency whitened

Several legal battles are underway in the United States over this practice, which can dilute minority votes.

In the South Carolina case, a three-judge federal panel ruled in January 2023 that a redistricting carried out after the 2020 census was illegal because it was based on racial criteria. This group of judges had ordered that it be redrawn before the November 2024 elections.

The Republican majority is accused of having bleached a district by placing 30,000 African Americans in a district that already has a black majority.

The vast majority of African-Americans tend to vote Democratic.

The South Carolina legislature filed an appeal against the lower court’s decision, and the case ended up before the Supreme Court.

The latter, in an opinion written by ultraconservative Justice Samuel Alito, declared that the first court’s conclusion that the racial criterion was predominant in the redistricting of the map was clearly bad.

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Samuel Alito was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by former President George W. Bush in January 2006.

Photo: Getty Images

Redistricting is an inevitably political enterprisesaid Mr. Alito, and a legislature may pursue partisan goals when engaging in redistricting.

gerrymandering”for partisan purposes can look a lot like a map cut along racial lines”,”text”:”Where race and politics are strongly correlated, a map that has been the subject of “gerrymandering” for partisan purposes can look a lot like a map cut along racial lines”}}”>Where race and politics are strongly correlated, a map that has been the subject of gerrymandering for partisan purposes can look a lot like a map cut along racial lineshe continued.

The Court’s five other conservative justices joined Mr. Alito. The three progressives expressed their difference of opinion.

Justice Elena Kagan described the Court’s decision aswrong.

odious— sorting of citizens, based on racial generalizations and exploiting racial divisions, will continue”,”text”:”And therefore this —odious— practice of sorting citizens, based on racial generalizations and exploiting racial divisions, will continue” }}”>And so this – odious – practice of sorting citizens, based on racial generalizations and exploiting racial divisions, will continueshe castigated.

The Republicans now have a very narrow majority in the House of Representatives. An increase in the number of black-majority constituencies could tip the scales in the November legislative elections.

This Supreme Court decision threatens the ability of South Carolinians to make their voices heard at the ballot boxsaid President Biden in his press release.

The redistribution maintained by racial gerrymandering by Republican elected officials to dilute the will of black voters”,”text”:”The Court is part of a dangerous pattern of attempts at racial gerrymandering by Republican elected officials to dilute the will of black voters”}}”>the Court is part of a dangerous pattern of attempts to gerrymandering racial discrimination on the part of Republican elected officials to dilute the will of black votershe said.

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