Democrats worried about election cases before Supreme Court

Democrats have said they are worried about two election cases before the Supreme Court, fearing the court will limit what it sees as protections under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“The two lawsuits could drastically limit the ability to attack suppressive voting laws and protect voters in court,” Marc Elias, a former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer, warned on Twitter.

The case Elias and Democrats are most concerned about concerns the Alabama congressional voting map, which was redrawn after the 2020 Census.

A case of race

Progressives argued that the state should have two majority-Black voting districts because it has a black population of around 27%, but the Republican-controlled legislature that drew up the map only included one majority-black district, claiming that its approach is race-neutral and barely changes the status quo.

A three-judge federal panel ruled against the map, but in the appeal, officials said they should not be forced to consider race above all other considerations when drawing the map.

“The Supreme Court has tried to cabin the effect of the Voting Rights Act,” Seton Hall University law professor Eugene D. Mazo said. “My view is they are going to try to cut back on Section 2.”

It’s not wrong to want the map to represent the state’s voters fairly, but the legislature does have a point that race shouldn’t be elevated above everything else.

Legislature vs. Courts

But the other case may ultimately prove more interesting and impactful for state elections in the long term.

It came about when North Carolina’s state courts struck down the legislative congressional map and substituted one of its own making.

Republican officials argued that the U.S. Constitution’s Election Clause says state legislatures have the final say over congressional elections, not courts.

In this case, if the officials prevail, Democrats are worried it will lead to state legislators picking electors if they don’t like the delegation’s picks. This was pushed by former President Donald Trump after 2020, but didn’t ultimately occur.

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