Upcoming U.S. Supreme Court Cases: What They Could Mean for Redistricting and Voting Rights
State legislatures and redistricting commissions have drawn new district maps. However, many states, particularly in the South where the absence of Section 5 coverage of the Voting Rights Act unleashed a torrent of racial gerrymandering efforts, still face legal challenges to the new lines. Starting in October, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing three redistricting cases on appeal by state legislatures in Alabama, Louisiana, and North Carolina that could have profound implications for redistricting as well as voting rights.
They are Merrill v. Milligan (Alabama); Ardoin v. Robinson (Louisiana); and Moore v. Harper (North Carolina). The Alabama and Louisiana cases present challenges to the Voting Rights Act. The North Carolina case presents a novel argument that under the U.S. Constitution, state courts do not have the ability to review redistricting actions by their state legislatures–even for compliance with state constitutions and laws. This theory would remove any state court check against illegal actions by state legislatures related to elections, making it easier for state politicians to suppress the vote, draw rigged maps, and cast doubt on election results.
Presenters will explain the implications of these three important cases and discuss how advocates and funders around the country can engage in the fight for fair representation.
Presented by Fair Representation in Redistricting, State Infrastructure Fund, and Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation