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