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Last week SCOTUS released its decision in the ALLEN V. MILLIGAN case. Below you will find the League of Women Voters of Maryland's official statement regarding that decision written by our redistricting expert Beth Hufnagel.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court made a most welcome decision Thursday, June 8th, to uphold the anti-racial redistricting part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act today. The particular example was in Alabama for Black voters, but the precedent was broad enough to apply to other states, and any minority can sue for its protection. It's expected to echo back to similar ongoing cases in Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.
The Court has been gradually undermining the Voting Rights Act by, for example, deciding that the part that required pre-approval for significant changes by states that had violated it previously was now unnecessary. This immediately resulted in a flurry of changes in many state's
laws tightening voting requirements.
A tactic often used by gerrymanders is to delay their map-drawing process until it's too late to make changes, which is particularly effective since many courts don't have the resources to draw a map themselves. This seemed to work in Alabama since the Supreme Court had let the unlawful map stand for the 2022 election, and this is one reason why the current ruling is such a pleasant surprise.
I am happy to remind you that when the Maryland General Assembly was told by our state courts to correct the original 2022 federal congressional maps, they complied within weeks and produced a good faith effort to respond.
For more information about LWVMD's redistricting efforts, please email [email protected]