How Republicans are using congressional maps to entrench their power
Michael Li on the state of gerrymandering one year out from the 2024 election.
ALSO IN THIS EDITION: Aaron on Speaker Johnson and Steve Scalise crashing and burning on the Sunday shows. Scroll to the bottom for this item.
The Supreme Court surprised many in June when it ruled that Alabama had to redraw its congressional district maps, because the state needed an additional majority Black district to comply with the Voting Rights Act. Despite that, other states with GOP legislatures like North Carolina have been aggressively gerrymandering to increase the likelihood Republicans pick up seats in a narrowly divided House.
The current line from SCOTUS is that partisan gerrymandering is acceptable, but racial ones are not. This has been a difficult distinction to make in certain cases. And with congressional maps in states like Louisiana and Georgia still in limbo, a lot will still happen before November 2024.
To get expert insight on the state of gerrymandering one year out from the 2024 election, Public Notice contributor Thor Benson connected with Michael Li, redistricting and voting counsel at NYU School of Law’s Brennan Center. They spoke about what happened with the Alabama case, developments elsewhere, and what it all means for 2024.
“The Voting Rights Act continues to have a lot of force, but it only goes so far, and I think if Congress had passed the Freedom to Vote Act, which would have banned partisan gerrymandering by statute, or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would have restored preclearance and otherwise strengthened the VRA, there would be a lot more tools to fight this,” Li told us.
A transcript of their conversation, lightly edited for length and clarity, follows.
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