I’ve already opined on what might have motivated Justice Thomas (and Justice Kennedy) so side how they did today.
An ELB reader passes along these additional thoughts about Justice Thomas and what comes next:
I’ve always been struck by Justice Thomas’ personal story that, when he couldn’t find a job despite graduating in the top third of his class at YLS, he was convinced that affirmative action led employers to think black attorneys’ law degrees weren’t worth the same. I could well see him thinking that gerrymandering has led to similar devaluation of black Representatives. Similarly, I could see him as offended that the boundary-drawers would see black voters’ race as a data point in predicting how they’ll vote. This may be armchair psychology, but I think it’s important for anti-gerrymandering advocates to figure Thomas out in time for the MD and NC political gerrymandering challenges. It’s possible that the arguments most likely to sway Thomas would be repugnant to the voting rights groups — such as an unflattering comparison of mixed-motive gerrymandering to plus-factor affirmative action programs. I think it’s critical for there to be a Thomas-focused amicus brief, preferably authored by a former Thomas clerk with better insights into his personal views.