Quin Hillyer: Alabama redistricting case shows racialist agenda of liberal plaintiffs | Quin Hillyer

MOBILE, Alabama – In the Alabama redistribution case hearing before the US Supreme Court on Oct. 4, the liberal justices made false claims in apparent search for misguided conclusions that would Balkanize this Alabama county along racial lines. Similar (but not identical) issues face the Louisiana Congressional map.

Alabama overwhelmingly deserves approval of the congressional district boundaries it drew after the 2020 census. These lines would keep Mobile County intact.

For decades, Alabama has held seven seats in Congress. For decades, one of Alabama’s seven districts has had a black majority. Those challenging Alabama’s districts say the state should create a second black-majority district because 27% of the state’s population — nearly two-sevenths — is black. But that proportion of the population has changed little over the years since federal courts have repeatedly declared Alabama’s counties constitutional. The new districts drawn by the state legislature are very similar to the old districts that passed the constitutional muster. Common sense says that if almost nothing has changed then what was constitutional before remains constitutional now.

The challengers base their demands for a second black-majority district on Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which guarantees black voters equal access to the political system. Unfortunately, they confuse “access” with “race results.”

To make it clear that their goal is access, not results, Section 2 states: “Nothing in this Section shall establish any right to have members of a protected class elected in a number commensurate with their proportion in the population.” That’s clear and direct. In a series of decisions, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that race absolutely cannot be the “predominant” factor in drawing county boundaries.

However, challengers require race to be the significant factor, ignoring other neutral and court-approved factors such as geographical features or national borders. To invent a second district with a black majority, challengers create lines that erase these traditional and common sense factors, weaving through the landscape and picking black communities to attach to the new district while excluding immediately neighboring white ones.

Mobile County, in the southwest corner of the state, has been the anchor of the entire first congressional district of the state in recent times. Challengers bizarrely snaked their way down to engulf black neighborhoods in Mobile, forcing them into another congressional district with black territories from across the state. Their totally racist, and arguably racist, thesis is that black Alabama residents in a coastal county bordering Mississippi have more in common with black interior Alabama residents near Georgia than with white coastal neighbors just three blocks away.

At the hearing, the liberal High Court judges, led by Elena Kagan, clearly supported this argument that race should trump other considerations. But Kagan got her facts wrong. Kagan said, “You’re looking at a state where … there’s incredibly racially polarized voting.”

Not exactly. In 2021, the city of Mobile elected a mayor of a different race than the city’s majority vote for the fifth consecutive year. In 2005 and 2009, when the city still had a sizable white majority, it voted black Democrat Sam Jones over white Republican candidates. Until 2013, the city was majority black, but in 2013, 2017 and 2021 it voted white Republican Sandy Stimpson over black Democrats.

Also in a 2010 statewide Democratic gubernatorial primary, white candidate Ron Sparks defeated US Rep. Artur Davis, who is black, among black voters. At the same time, Davis won nearly 40% of the White Democrat vote. In Mobile, Davis carried a strong majority from both the black and white counties. But Starks won the race because of his nationwide black support.

Unlike Kagan, there is clearly no “incredibly racially polarized vote”. Kagan later misused Section 2 language to ensure that black voters have an equal opportunity to vote for a “candidate of their choice” to assume that it essentially means “candidate of the same race”. This is nonsense.

Why would a black voter in the rural “wiregrass” area of ​​Alabama, near Georgia, automatically “vote” to be represented by a black politician from the city of Mobile instead of a white politician whose lifetime in the wiregrass region was his? helps to intuitively understand the wiregrass ‘ needs?

By squeezing Black voters solely on the basis of race, what the plaintiffs are actually proposing, ostensibly for the benefit of those Black voters, amounts to “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” When a White Alabama governor uttered that horrible line, he was rightly branded a despicable racist. Do Kagan and four other judges want to wear George Wallace’s mantle?

New Orleans-born Quin Hillyer is a senior commentary writer and editor for The Washington Examiner, based out of the Gulf Coast. A version of this column originally appeared in the Examiner. He can be reached at [email protected]. His other columns appear at www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/quin-hillyer.