“Guest Blog: Janai Nelson, Race Reasoning in Alabama Redistricting: A View from the Supreme Court”


If ultimately forced to draw a new plan in the current post-Shelby world, Alabama would no longer have Section 5 to rely on—for better or worse. Instead, it would have to take account of the Voting Rights Act’s other anti-discrimination weapon, Section 2, which prohibits any voting law that results in vote dilution or denial on account of race—and, of course, the constitution. Near the close of the argument, Justice Alito alluded to this possibility by querying how Section 2 might factor in to the drawing of a new plan. Undoubtedly, we should expect any new plan that might arise from this case to find its way before the Court for a reprise of similar quandaries around race, partisanship, and power.  That plan, like this one, should be viewed in the context of Alabama’s unending wily schemes to minimize minority voting power, including using false claims to protect it.

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