The past week has been a busy one for redistricting. Unsurprisingly, most of the scrutiny has been on Republican-drawn districts. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order reinstating Alabama's congressional map that a lower court struck down.
Alabama's new congressional map is a status quo map based on the previous one precleared by Eric Holder’s Justice Department 10 years ago. The Supreme Court rightly stayed the lower court's egregious misapplication of Section 2. https://t.co/JopP8piI0c— National Republican Redistricting PAC (@GOPRedistrict) February 7, 2022
The Court also will hear the case on the merits at a later date. As the New York Times reported, this week's decision may signal a change in how the Court deals with redistricting cases challenged on racial grounds in the future:
The Supreme Court’s brief order, which included no reasoning, was provisional, staying a lower court’s decision while the case moves forward. The justices said they would hear Alabama’s appeal of the lower court’s ruling, but they did not say when.
Both the stay and the decision to hear the case indicated that the court is open to weakening the role race may play in drawing voting districts for federal elections, setting up a major new test of the Voting Rights Act in a court that has gradually limited the reach of the law in other contexts.
Breaking redistricting news from SCOTUS: "Supreme Court, in 5-4 Vote, Restores Alabama’s Congressional Voting Map" https://t.co/X4ZCK1pgVN— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) February 7, 2022
On Friday, the Democrat-dominated North Carolina Supreme Court rejected state legislative and congressional maps drawn by the Republican legislature.
The decision was clearly made on partisan basis considering prior maps that have been approved by the court in the past.
The North Carolina Republican Party explained:
From the outset Democrats made clear their intentions of leveraging an activist judiciary to seize political gain despite the Republican-led legislature's open, transparent, constitutional process. The NCGOP looks forward to another open, constitutional process for the legislature to redraw these maps and sincerely hope the constitutional order is not upended yet again by Democrats writing policy from the bench.
"We are extremely disappointed that the four Democrats on the N.C. Supreme Court have chosen political expediency over reason in order to invalidate the maps drawn by the N.C. General Assembly," said NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley. "This blatantly partisan decision flies in the face of centuries of judicial and legislative precedent and directly contradicts any plain reading of the North Carolina Constitution."
In Ohio, the state supreme court has struck down state legislative maps drawn by the Republican state legislature for the second time. As the dissent points out, the court is stepping outside of its constitutional duties with this decision:
It is apparent that in disregard of constitutional standards, four members of this court have now commandeered the redistricting process and that they will continue to reject any General Assembly-district plan until they get the plan they want. It would simplify matters if the commission would just provide the majority with the map-drawing software, Maptitude, so that they can draw the map themselves. At this point, one must wonder which seven-member body is the true redistricting commission—the constitutionally named officers or this court?
The Ohio Constitution entrusts the responsibility for redistricting to the commission, not to this court. In its previous decision, the majority exceeded its authority by declaring a map invalid based on alleged violations of Article XI, Sections 6(A) and 6(B), despite the fact that our Constitution does not make standalone violations of these sections judicially enforceable. Today, the majority doubles down on its error by invalidating a revised plan that satisfies the same metrics that it held out as a model of constitutionality in its first decision. In today’s astonishing order, the majority compels the commission to design districts that guarantee Democratic victories. There is a word for the action the majority has ordered the commission to undertake—gerrymandering. See Article XI, Section 6(A), Ohio Constitution.
With all of this focus on Republican-drawn districts, will Democrats, whose redistricting efforts are led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, condemn clearly gerrymandered maps in states like Maryland, New York, and Illinois?
This is unlikely. The Wall Strett Journal's Kimberly Strassel points out:
For all his sanctimony about his mission to “rebuild a democracy,” Mr. Holder’s group has never challenged a Democratic gerrymander. And he uttered not a peep this week about the New York map. . .
Just as with Mr. Holder’s redistricting march, the left’s federal voting takeover is about juking the rules in a way that will advantage them in future elections. Their goal isn’t justice or fairness; the goal is to win. Democrats are swindling voters with their “democracy” claims.
Unfair redistricting practices are just one part of the Democrats' quest to take over elections and secure victory in perpetuity.