Supreme Court weighs in on congressional redistricting in southern states

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The Roberts Court, April 23, 2021 Seated from left to right: Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor Standing from left to right: Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett. Photograph by Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Patrick Done, News Editor

A special three-judge court recently ordered Alabama to redraw its congressional map after Democrats sued Alabama for racial discrimination against African Americans. The Alabama congressional map only included one majority-Black district out of its seven congressional districts, even though African Americans account for 27 percent of the population of the southern state. The lower Court ruled that the congressional map disenfranchised Black voters, preventing them from having a chance to elect favorable candidates.

However, in a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court decided to overturn the lower Court and allow the Alabama congressional map to stand. The Supreme Court emphasized a state’s constitutional right to control its elections in its decision. Democrats and other activists have attacked the decision, believing the Court has an obligation to protect minority groups from discrimination of all kinds.

Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined the three liberal justices in their attempt to block the conservative majority ruling. Justice Roberts has joined the liberal minority several times over the last decade, successfully blocking many of his fellow conservative justice’s rulings. However, with the appointment of Justice Barrett, Roberts will no longer be the deciding vote in many of the Court’s most significant decisions. How this will influence the trajectory of the United State’s highest court is yet to be seen.