SCOTUS Adds Argument Time in Alabama Redistricting Case for Federal Government

See this Order. As I explained in my SCOTUSBlog preview posted yesterday, Argument preview: Racial gerrymandering, partisan politics, and the future of the Voting Rights Act, the government filed a brief supporting neither side in this case:

Beneath the surface of the briefing in the case, and perhaps explaining the reason for the federal government and Lawyers’ Committee amicus briefs urging a remand in the case for further analysis of the predominant motive of the Alabama legislature in drawing particular Alabama districts, is a fear that the Court could (1) adopt Alabama’s understanding of the Voting Rights Act as mandating the creation of these packed majority-minority districts and then (2) strike the Act itself as an unconstitutional race-based statute in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. It seems unlikely that the Court would use this case as the vehicle to reach that result, but the potential for the same Court which decided Shelby County to declare more of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional lurks in the case’s background and appears to be making voting rights advocates nervous.

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