Skip to content
Search AI Powered

Latest Stories

U.S. Supreme Court Smacks Down Race-Based Packing in Key Gerrymander Case

U.S. Supreme Court Smacks Down Race-Based Packing in Key Gerrymander Case

Voting rights advocates are declaring victory in the first of two gerrymandering cases heard by the Supreme Court. Yesterday, the high court found that the lower court applied an incorrect standard in a Virginia redistricting case. The lower court had found that, despite packing many districts by race, the challenged districts could remain as drawn because their shape met traditional gerrymandering guidelines.

In a decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court disagreed that shape should be the primary criteria, and told the lower court to reexamine the districts, focusing instead on whether racial bias was one of the motivating reasons:


A legislature could construct a plethora of potential maps that look consistent with traditional, race-neutral principles, but if race is the overriding reason for choosing one map over others, race still may predominate.

Justice Samuel Alito issued a partial dissent, believing that the Supreme Court could have ruled on the districts instead of sending them back to the lower court. Justice Clarence Thomas also issued a partial dissent, saying that portions of the Voting Rights Act are "fundamentally at odds with our ‘color-blind’ Constitution, which ‘neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.’”

The case involved 12 Virginia House districts that were drawn in 2011, in part, so that each of them had a 55 percent majority of African-American voters. The challengers argued that by concentrating minority voters into fewer districts,  their votes were diluted, keeping some districts safer for Republicans. Only one of the districts was upheld by the Supreme Court. Yesterday's decision does not mean that the other 11 districts will be redrawn, but rather that the lower court will have to reassess whether the districts were impermissibly drawn primarily with race in mind.

Voting rights activists are hailing the decision. Anna Scholl, the executive director of Progress Virginia released a statement saying, “Voters should choose their elected officials, not the other way around... Politicians should not be allowed to use race or other political considerations to turn one election into lifetime tenure. We hope today’s decision leads to new, fair political district lines in Virginia drawn by an independent body to ensure Virginia voters have the final say on who sits in the House of Delegates.”

Republican Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell, also responded to the decision, saying “The plaintiffs in this case did not prevail... The Supreme Court overruled the way in which the district court analyzed the case. We have read the court’s opinion and are quite confident that we will win when we go back to the district court.”

A Supreme Court decision last year resulted in other Virginia districts being redrawn, and Democrats won what had been a safe Republican district. Additional districts are also under court challenge for not being "compact." Virginia will hold its House elections this fall, and it is unclear if changes will impact that election.

More from News

shocked woman
Olivia Hutcherson on Unsplash

People Break Down The Most Brutal Insults They've Ever Heard

Let's be honest, it doesn't take any talent to insult someone.

After all, by the time children learn to speak in complete sentences, they're hurling sophisticated comebacks like:

Keep ReadingShow less
Dubai Princess Publicly Demands 'Divorce' From Cheating Royal Husband In Blunt Instagram Post
@hhshmahra/Instagram

Dubai Princess Publicly Demands 'Divorce' From Cheating Royal Husband In Blunt Instagram Post

In an unexpected move, Her Highness Sheikha Mahra bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai princess, addressed her husband's infidelity on Instagram, declaring their divorce.

Sheikha Mahra, who is daughter of the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, wrote a scathing and short message to her husband.

Keep ReadingShow less
TikTok screenshot of Jodi Benson watching daughter sing; Ariel from the 1989 'The Little Mermaid'
@coolzjay/TikTok; Disney

'Little Mermaid' Star Jodi Benson Tears Up Watching Daughter Sing 'Part Of Your World' On Stage

A clip of the original voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson, watching her daughter Delaney play the lead role in a stage production of The Little Mermaid has gone viral, and Benson revealed she was moved to tears by the performance.

Posted to TikTok, the video has already garnered more than 4.2 million views in only a few days, and people on the platform said they got a bit emotional, as well.

Keep ReadingShow less
Kate Beckinsale
@houseofmuamua_

Kate Beckinsale's Custom Swimsuit Sends Blunt Message To Her Haters Online

British actor Kate Beckinsale has no time for trolls criticizing her looks.

Instead of addressing haters' unsolicited assessments of her online, the 50-year-old actor came for them with a fierce fashion statement that said it all.

Keep ReadingShow less
Kit Connor
Karwai Tang/WireImage/GettyImages

Kit Connor Is Rumored To Be Top Choice For Gay MCU Superhero—And 'Heartstopper' Fans Are So Into It

Fans of Heartstopper were absolutely chuffed and crossing their fingers after hearing rumors that British actor Kit Connor was being considered to play a known LGBTQ+ superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The 20-year-old has been acting since he was just 8 in numerous TV and film projects, including roles in the 2018 films The Mercy, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. He also portrayed a teenaged Elton John in 2019's Rocketman and voiced Pantalaimon in the HBO fantasy series His Dark Materials.

Keep ReadingShow less