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John Roberts and racial manipulation

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Gerrymandering strictly by breed is illegal, so how can it be enforced? According to Alabama, that’s Tuesday’s question in the Supreme Court in Merrill v. Milligan, a case related to the state’s recent redesign of the map of the US House of Representatives. The new districts resemble the status quo, with a majority black seat in the southeast. Tthe state says used the 2020 census data simply to enact “race-neutral adjustments for small changes in population.”

But Alabama has seven seats in the house, so a majority black district comes in at 14%, while 26% of the state’s voting-age population is black. A federal court said in January that the Voting Rights Act (VRA) requires Alabama to create a second majority black district, which would have 29% representation. Is this the law, or is this another misguided effort in what the Chief Justice john roberts once called a “sordid business, dividing us by race”?

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