December 1, 2023


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Nancy Mace’s seat below scrutiny in Supreme Court docket gerrymandering case

3 min read
Nancy Mace with media

The Supreme Court docket on Wednesday is scheduled to contemplate a federal court docket ruling that Nancy Mace’s South Carolina congressional district was racially gerrymandered.

Republicans in South Carolina requested the Supreme Court docket to assessment the ruling. In a written memo, they stated that, until the choice is reversed, Democrats can all the time declare racial gerrymandering each time a GOP-leaning district is created.

Mace is a Republican who clashed with former President Donald Trump on quite a few events however is now a powerful contender to be vice chairman if he wins the Republican nomination.

The first Congressional District, which incorporates components of Charleston, elected Republicans to the Home from 1980 to 2016, with Democrats successful it in 2018. Mace took the seat GOP in 2020 and was re-elected in November 2022.

Nancy Mays with the media
U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace speaks to the media on October 10, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court docket is now contemplating whether or not her district was illegally drawn alongside racial strains (Photograph by Wayne McNamee/Getty Photographs)

Throughout redistricting in 2021, Republican officers redrew 140,000 residents, together with 30,000 Black residents, from District 1 to Congressional District 6, a Democratic stronghold, to make the previous a safer Republican seat. Redistricting eliminated 62% of black voters from Mays’ district.

The map was enacted in January 2022 and Mace gained re-election in November of that 12 months, however the NAACP and different civil rights teams challenged Congressional District 1’s boundaries as racially gerrymandered.

A 3-judge federal panel agreed that race was the overriding think about drawing the district.

The committee concluded that GOP lawmakers set a purpose of 17% of the black voting-age inhabitants within the 1st Congressional District.

“The motion of greater than 30,000 African Individuals in a single district from Congressional District No. 1 to Congressional District No. 6 created a blatant racial gerrymander in Charleston County,” the justices wrote after an eight-day trial.

One of many three judges, District Choose Richard M. Gergel, stated throughout the trial that such a dramatic shift in black voters may solely occur by design.

He stated: “In case you see a turtle on a fence, know that somebody put it there. This isn’t a coincidence.”

Newsweek I contacted the NAACP and Mace’s workplace through e mail for remark.

“If left uncorrected, the committee’s place would place states in an inconceivable bind by exposing them to potential legal responsibility for racial gerrymandering after they refuse to make majority-white, modestly Republican districts majorities,” the February GOP report stated. Democratic. This might be tantamount to inviting the federal courts to handle political disputes in numerous counties throughout the nation below the guise of supervising their racial composition.

Civil rights teams stated in written submissions to the Supreme Court docket that utilizing race as an overriding issue for redistricting is unconstitutional.

The declare earlier than the Supreme Court docket that redistricting violated the rights of blacks is uncommon as a result of the latest circumstances primarily involved white voter suppression in majority-black districts.

Nicholas Stephanopoulos, a legislation professor at Harvard College, informed CBS Information: “What makes this case attention-grabbing is that it’s the first allegation of racial gerrymandering in a closely white space the place the allegation is that race was used to actively oppress the black inhabitants of the realm.” synthetic”. .

“In every of those circumstances, the realm was closely minority, and the allegation is that race was used to inflate the minority inhabitants.”

in Shelby County v. Holder In 2013, the Supreme Court docket dominated that Part 4(b) of the pro-civil rights Voter Rights Act of 1965 was unconstitutional as a result of it was primarily based on knowledge that was greater than 40 years outdated, making it not related to present wants. The legislation would have required some states and native governments with a historical past of black voter suppression to acquire advance federal authorization earlier than implementing any adjustments to their voting legal guidelines or practices.

The Supreme Court docket famous that census knowledge indicated that black voter turnout exceeded white voter turnout in 5 of the six states initially coated by preclearance, with the sixth state having a niche of lower than half of 1 %.

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