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Leftist Challenge to 2024 Voting Map Hits Massive Roadblock at the Supreme Court

Leftist Challenge to 2024 Voting Map Hits Massive Roadblock at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court refused on Tuesday to intervene in a voting redistricting case in Texas.

The map was put in place after the 2020 census and then declared by a federal court judge to be in violation of the Voting Rights Act, but Tuesday’s decision means it will remain in effect, at least until a federal appeals court can review that federal judge’s decision.

According to CNN Supreme Court analyst Steve Vladeck, who is also a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, the decision could have a much greater effect than simply on this single district map in Texas.

“Even though this case is only about a local district map in Galveston, it has much broader implications,” he told CNN.

“The [5th US Circuit] court of appeals justified letting the unlawful map stay in place in a way that will make it much harder, going forward, for plaintiffs in Louisiana, Mississippi, or Texas to persuade any federal judge to block an unlawful map except in very short windows after elections take place,” Vladeck explained.

The current plan cuts into what had been Precinct 3 — the only precinct with a black and Latino majority in Galveston County, according to CNN.

The Galveston County commissioners who voted to approve the new map in 2021 are mostly Republicans, the outlet noted.

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown threw that map out, calling it “fundamentally inconsistent” with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

In fact, he all but called the commissioners who drew the map racists.

“The circumstances and effect of the enacted plan were mean-spirited and egregious given that there was absolutely no reason to make major changes to Precinct 3,” Brown wrote, ordering a new map drawn up before Dec. 11 — the filing deadline for the 2024 election.

The commissioners, however, appealed to the 5th Circuit, which stayed Brown’s ruling until it could review it in May, too late to impact the Texas primaries in March.

The Supreme Court’s three most liberal justices issued a public dissent from the decision not to vacate the stay requested by the plaintiffs in the case.

“The Fifth Circuit’s stay itself disrupted the status quo — an election map concededly lawful under Circuit precedent and nearly identical to the maps that have governed the election of Galveston  County’s commissioners for decades,” Justice Elana Kagan wrote for the three. “In imposing a different map, acknowledged to violate current law — on the theory that the Circuit might someday change that law — the Court of Appeals went far beyond its proper authority.”

Kagan was joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson in the dissent.

The new map was put into place without prior “preclearance” by the Justice Department, something that prior to a landmark decision by the Supreme Court in 2013 would have been required.

The plaintiffs argue that the new map reduces the power of black and Latino voters to chose the elected representatives they prefer.

“The decision gutting the preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act opened the door to the current challenge,” Campaign Legal Center attorney lawyer Mark Gaber, who is representing the plaintiffs, previously told CNN.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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