WASHINGTON—Following the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday in Allen v. Milligan, which rejected Alabama lawmakers’ 2022 congressional redistricting plan by claiming it violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, released the following statement:
“All of those who understand that racial discrimination should have no part in the political arena, and certainly not in the redistricting process, will be disappointed in today’s decision.
“Justice Clarence Thomas got it exactly right when he wrote in his dissent that this decision by the court, which approves a lower court decision essentially saying that race should have been the predominant factor used by the state legislature in drawing the boundary lines for new congressional districts, lays ‘bare the gulf between our “color-blind” Constitution’ and the ‘consciously segregated districting system being constructed’ by the Court ‘in the name of the Voting Rights Act.’
“There was little evidence of discriminatory intent or conduct by the Alabama Legislature and the basis for the lower court requiring two of the seven congressional districts allotted to Alabama to be majority/minority districts in which black voters constitute a majority seemed to be the black share of the population of the state. Yet Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act specifically prohibits forcing states to draw districts for minority voters in ‘numbers equal to their proportion in the population.’
“As Justice Samuel Alito added in his dissent, this decision ‘unnecessarily sets the VRA on a perilous and unfortunate path.’”