Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: Supreme Court Allows South Carolina To Strip Power From Black Voters
Press Statement

STATEMENT: Supreme Court Allows South Carolina To Strip Power From Black Voters

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated South Carolina’s redrawn congressional map, finding that it was not unconstitutional racial gerrymandering. The 6-3 opinion from Justice Samuel Alito reversed a lower court finding that said the plan illegally removed 30,000 Black voters to make the 1st Congressional District safer for a white Republican candidate. In response, Devon Ombres, senior director for Courts and Legal Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

This ruling allows South Carolina to strip power away from Black voters and implement a congressional map that is clearly racially gerrymandered. The majority cherry-picked evidence, disregarded inconvenient proof of racial gerrymandering, and substituted its own judgement of the facts instead of deferring to the court below. Worse, the majority makes it clear that, in the future, it will be more difficult to challenge unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. The justices will now give the benefit of the doubt to legislatures with a history of racial animus over those who challenge racial gerrymanders.

It’s a disgrace that this opinion comes from a justice who flew flags promoting election denial and flaunting the rule of law. Justice Alito’s opinion claims that racial gerrymanders are not the problem; he thinks it is the people who challenge racial discrimination that are the problem. The court has now given a roadmap to state legislators to further take power away from voters and entrench political minority rule across the country. Congress must pass legislation to revitalize the Voting Rights Act to ensure that the will of American voters matters—not just the will of those already in power.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at [email protected].

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