Supreme Court Tells Virginia Republicans to Have Several Seats Because the Old Ones Were Racist

Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh at the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 5, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh at the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 5, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

The Supreme Court sent Virginia Republicans back to the racist drawing board so they can come up with another plan to weaken the black vote, after ruling that the Virginia House of Delegates didn’t have the standing to appeal a lower court ruling that found a redrawing of districts to be mad racist.

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According to The Hill, in the 5-4 ruling, Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was appointed by Trump, turned his back on his brethren and voted for what’s right. Gorsuch joined Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg—who penned the decision—Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

The Hill notes that new district maps, which are already in use, must be used for the 2020 elections.

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From The Hill:

Virginia Democrats had challenged the 11 districts for the state’s House of Delegates, which were drawn after the 2010 census, and each have a population with at least 55 percent black residents of voting age.

The Supreme Court has previously held that race can’t be the leading factor in the creation of state districts. The justices first took on the case in 2015, but sent it back down to a lower court for reconsideration.

But lawyers for the GOP-held House of Delegates claimed that by making sure that each legislative district had 55 percent black voters, the state was ensuring that their voting power wasn’t diminished.

Virginia House Democrats were happy about the ruling, calling it “a major win for voting rights and civil rights in our Commonwealth,” The Hill notes.

“House Republicans have spent millions of taxpayer dollars defending racial gerrymandering in a protracted legal battle—a battle in which they lacked legal standing,” House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn and Caucus Chairwoman Charniele Herring said in a joint statement to The Hill.

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“Finally, Virginians in the affected districts have the assurance that they will vote in constitutional districts in this year’s election.”

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) said in a statement viewed by The Hill that it is “unfortunate that House Republicans wasted millions of taxpayer dollars and months of litigation in a futile effort to protect racially gerrymandered districts.”

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“[B]ut the good news is that this fall’s elections will take place in constitutionally drawn districts,” he added.

Justices Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Stephen Breyer and Brett Kavanaugh all hated, but that was to be expected as they were placed on the highest court to hate all things fair and right.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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DISCUSSION

biturbowagon
Biturbowagon

Um, I like the result, but your discussion of it leaves a great deal to be desired.

The decision had to do with the standing of the House of Delegates to bring the lawsuit. The Court decided no. The primary focus was not the merits of the case.

Note the unusual distribution of judges. You wrote:

Justices Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Stephen Breyer and Brett Kavanaugh all hated, but that was to be expected as they were placed on the highest court to hate all things fair and right.

Note that Stephen Breyer usually votes with the liberal bloc. This vote is an exception.

Also note that Clarence Thomas almost exclusively votes with the conservative bloc.

So the 5-4 vote was not a liberal vs. conservative vote, nor even a liberal+one conservative vs. conservative vote. It was a three liberals + two conservatives, vs. one liberal + three conservatives.

This decision was not one of the liberal/conservative dichotomies. It had to do with their relative opinions on standing.