Excellent News: Supreme Court Affirms NC Racial Gerrymandering Case
We have a bit of potentially excellent news for the 2018 midterm election, as the Supreme Court affirms that the Republican Party in North Carolina deliberately used gerrymandering to marginalize black voters in North Carolina. The congressional map they put together in 2011 is now invalid.
The Supreme Court has issued this 5-3 opinion in Cooper v. Harris. Justice Kagan wrote the opinion for the Court, with Justice Thomas making the fifth vote for affirmance. Chief Justice Robert and Justices Alito and Kennedy dissented. That is an interesting lineup, to be sure.
There is a lot of detail but here is my bottom line: This decision by Justice Kagan is a major victory for voting rights plaintiffs, who have succeeded in turning the racial gerrymandering cause of action into an effective tool to go after partisan gerrymanders in Southern states. That Justice Kagan got Justice Thomas not only to vote this way but to sign onto the opinion (giving it precedential value) is a really big deal.