“This Supreme Court ruling is a ‘get-out-of-jail’ card for racial discrimination”

Michael Li oped:

The Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority made it much easier last week to attack the political power of the nation’s growing communities of color. The high court’s attacking voting rights isn’t new. But the latest blow, in a 6-3 opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito in a South Carolina case, is especially breathtaking and cynical because it creates a sweeping partisanship safe harbor for states that want to gerrymander communities of color out of power. Racially gerrymandered map? No, not us. We were just discriminating against Democrats who just happen to be Black (or Latino or Asian)….

Before Alexander, voters of color in racial gerrymandering cases had to show merely that race had predominated in map drawers’ decision-making. After Alexander, if states defend maps on the grounds that “it was just politics,” which they will do now in every case, Justice Alito’s opinion imposes an additional head-spinning hurdle. Voters of color must now also show that it would have been possible to pull off a state’s partisan gerrymander by targeting white voters.

This is likely to be a train wreck for communities of color.

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