Supreme Court Reinstates Racial Gerrymander Lawsuit in Arkansas

Challengers claim a congressional district in Little Rock was drawn to weaken black voting strength,

The U.S. Supreme Court on June 3 revived a lawsuit contesting the boundaries of a congressional district in Arkansas that challengers say illegally diluted the voting strength of the black community.

The ruling comes days after the court rejected a claim that a congressional district in South Carolina was an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

The court issued its decision in an unsigned order in Simpson v. Thurston. No justices dissented. The court did not explain its decision.

The decision sends the case back to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

The ruling comes after the Supreme Court upheld on a vote of 6-3 a congressional redistricting plan in South Carolina. In the May 23 decision the court rejected the claim that the new electoral map was a product of race-based discrimination.

The case was Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP.

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The court majority held that challengers failed to demonstrate that race was the main factor in the redistricting, as opposed to more routine partisan considerations. The Supreme Court frowns on racial gerrymandering as constitutionally suspect but has adopted a hands-off attitude toward partisan gerrymandering.

The seat in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district is held by Republican Rep. Nancy Mace.

In Simpson v. Thurston, the challengers argued that when the Arkansas General Assembly drafted a new electoral map for the state in 2021, it took “the  exceptional  measure of  splitting  a community of 140,000 Blacks from a close-knit community in the southern border of the Second Congressional District in Pulaski County, Arkansas, into, not two, but three congressional  districts,  while  simultaneously  transferring the virtually all-White Cleburne County into the northern part of the Second Congressional District.”

The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the federal district court “for further consideration in light of Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP.”

Lawyers call this process GVR—grant, vacate, and remand.

This is a developing story. This article will be updated.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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