Chief Justice John Roberts made a major error in judgment last week in rejecting the State of Alabama’s 2022 congressional redistricting plan in Allen v. Milligan, an error that, as dissenting Justice Samuel Alito says, puts the Voting Rights Act “on a perilous and unfortunate path.”
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Moore v. Harper, a case that turns on the meaning of a key provision in the Constitution outlining the Framers’ structure for congressional elections.
Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which took center stage Tuesday during oral arguments at the Supreme Court, prohibits a state from imposing a “standard, practice, or procedure” that “results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color … .” Courts have found that states violate this provision when they draw new legislative districts that dilute the voting power of minority voters by either packing as many of these voters as possible into a single district or by splitting these voters among various other districts—practices known as “packing” and “cracking” voters.
The Supreme Court’s important ruling last week on voter ID in North Carolina has been overlooked in the fervor over the high court’s spot-on decisions upholding the Second Amendment and religious freedom and overruling Roe v. Wade. But the court’s procedural decision Thursday in Berger v. NAACP will help prevent state officials from sabotaging the defense of state election laws and other measures being attacked by their political allies and friends.