The analysis already coming out points to Democrats making gains in Alabama in the 2 districts involved…..
Democrats in New York seem ready to change their maps…..
Republicans are inflicting self hurting political wounds
Democrats just could be getting control of the US House next go around….
With the surprise Supreme Court ruling throwing out the Alabama congressional map, the Cook Political Report has shifted five House seat ratings toward the Democrats:
AL-1: Jerry Carl (R) – Solid R to Toss Up
AL-2: Barry Moore (R) – Solid R to Toss Up
LA-5: Julia Letlow (R) – Solid R to Toss Up
LA-6: Garret Graves (R) – Solid R to Toss Up
NC-1: Don Davis (D) – Toss Up to Lean D
David Wasserman: “Politically, the ruling could shake up the 2024 battle for the House, send shockwaves beyond Alabama and potentially offset a new gerrymander Republicans are likely to impose in North Carolina. The key states to watch are Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina.”
RRH Elections (Right leaner) on the possible outcomes…..
Where does this leave things going forward? Here are the key takeaways:
- Democrats will pick up AL-2 in 2024
- The VRA standards are no clearer than they were yesterday; it is still very vague where the line between “permissibly aware of race” and “illegal racial gerrymander” will be drawn, but the Montgomery-to-Mobile configuration is OK.
- SCOTUS will hear South Carolina’s redistricting suit next year. Democrats won this one in the trial court as well, so they should be favored to win that at SCOTUS for similar reasons to today. However, this decision is muddled enough that a contrary ruling in South Carolina next year can’t be ruled out.
- Democrats won a similar lawsuit in Louisiana at the trial-court stage, but this case is a bit different from the Alabama and South Carolina ones because it was heard by a one-judge district court instead of a three-judge district court. This means that the conservative 5th Circuit will hear an appeal in the Louisiana case before it reaches SCOTUS. A decision in Louisiana is likely at least a couple years away.
- The old FL-5, a heavily litigated seat, won’t be reinstated as a result of this case. SCOTUS reaffirmed today that Gingles requires a VRA seat to be majority-minority; no configuration of FL-5 has ever been majority-Black.
- FL-23 could remain susceptible to a challenge, but for now, no one is interested in challenging it.
- Justice Kavanaugh made an interesting reference to Justice Thomas’s longstanding argument that the VRA is time-limited–in other words, at some point, the United States will achieve a degree of racial equality in representation such that VRA districts are no longer required. Alabama did not raise this argument. It seems likely that South Carolina will raise it next year now that Justice Kavanaugh has opened the door to it…..