October 12, 2023

Supreme Court to Decide on South Carolina Congressional Maps

Gerrymandering has been the hot topic on the election front as we get closer to the 2024 cycle.

Several states were to redraw congressional districts, with South Carolina being among them.

Republicans have had a tough go of it on this front, but there is speculation that the Supreme Court is now leaning in favor of the GOP-drawn maps in South Carolina.


This all comes down to race, an issue that the GOP has lost in other states, so I am not quite as hopeful as some of the pundits.

The rules state that race can be considered, but it cannot be the deciding factor in drawing new maps.

However, in a recent case that hit the Supreme Court for Alabama’s maps, race was the deciding factor.

Legislators were told to draw a district that was, in essence, all-black, creating a second all-black district in the state. The Supreme Court upheld that ruling, which shocked me, quite frankly, because I thought the precedent was quite clear on this.

Now a similar argument is happening over the maps for South Carolina.

Justice Kagan stated, "We can show you that Black Democrats and White Democrats are not being treated the same way, that Black Democrats are being excluded for the district at a far greater proportion. So every regression analysis has things that you can poke holes in, but you didn't give anything in response to that."

Chief Justice Roberts then brought up the arguments of the plaintiffs in the case, stating that this "would be breaking new ground in our voting rights jurisprudence.

"We've never had a case where there's been no direct evidence, no [alternative] map, no strangely configured districts, and a very large amount of political evidence" to counter the racial gerrymander claims.

We know where Alito and Thomas are going to fall, so the key to this is where Roberts will fall and what side of the argument he decides to defend.

I say this because Trump’s three justices have, in the past, sided with Roberts at different times when he votes with the liberal side of the court.

If Roberts defects, he will only need one of Trump’s justices to cross over with him, and I would be willing to bet dollars to donuts that happens.

I will not be so bold to predict the outcome, but I will say that the winning side of this fight will have Justice Roberts on its side.

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