Racial Gerrymandering Backfires


You just can’t make this stuff up. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction, especially when the federal government decides to get involved at the local level where it does not belong. A case in point is racial gerrymandering in Alabama. In an attempt to comply with the Voting Rights Act, the Alabama Legislature created several majority-minority districts—districts in which the population of blacks is so high that black candidates are guaranteed to win state and local elections. Sounds good if you are black and a Democrat, right? Apparently not.

The Alabama Democratic Conference and the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus have filed suit against the state of Alabama because some of the racially gerrymandered districts drawn to protect blacks apparently contain too many blacks. Both cases have been heard recently by the Supreme Court. According to Edward Blum (THE WALL STREET

JOURNAL, November 12, 2014), “The facts in the Alabama cases are straightforward: A handful of House and Senate districts that had high percentages of African-American residents before redistricting—for example, a percentage in the mid 60s—were redrawn, which in some districts resulted in 76% minority populations.”

In their lawsuits filed with the Supreme Court the Democratic Conference and the Legislative Black Caucus contend that the majority-minority districts in question are actually too safe for black voters. What is this? Are Alabama’s Democrats and members of its Black Caucus feeling guilty? Have they finally accepted that federal laws are passed to guarantee opportunity not results? Are they trying to give candidates of other races a fair chance to win their elections? Are they finally rejecting the heavy hand of the federal government? Unfortunately, the answer to all of these questions is “no.” These two groups have not suddenly come to their senses and rejected what Chief Justice John Roberts calls the “sordid business of divvying us up by race.” Rather, it seems that by packing so many black voters into these oddly-shaped, artificially drawn majority-minority districts, the Alabama Legislature—while complying with the Voting Rights Act and implementing precisely the plan approved by the Obama administration’s Justice Department—has diluted the influence of black voters in other districts.

Continues on PatriotUpdate

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