— Balls & Strikes (@ballsstrikes) October 6, 2022
Forget Amy ‘Blank White Sheet of Paper’ Comey Barret, Justice Brown Jackson is RBG’s real successor:
… Merrill v. Milligan is the latest in a long line of cases brought by conservatives aiming to slowly bleed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to death. The law—an effort to restrict racial discrimination in voting—is a thorn in the side of Republicans, primarily due to their desire to engage in racial discrimination in voting. As a result, the Republicans on the Supreme Court have kneecapped the law at every turn, limiting its applicability and undermining the mechanisms it created to combat voter discrimination.
Merrill is a challenge to Alabama’s gerrymandered congressional districts, which leave Black voters—over a quarter of Alabama’s population—with majority voting power in only one of the state’s seven districts. That arrangement almost certainly violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits states from abridging the right to vote on the basis of race.
In its defense, Alabama has advanced an aggressive argument: that although Congress enacted the Voting Rights Act to combat racial discrimination, race cannot be considered at all in its enforcement. That, according to Alabama, would violate the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal treatment under the law. If this argument were accepted in full, the government could not factor race into its remedial plans, even if their goal is ultimately racial equality.
The argument is so inherently absurd that it bears repeating: Alabama is claiming that it is unconstitutional to consider race when addressing racial discrimination. Next up, addressing gun violence without considering guns.
During oral argument, Jackson addressed the argument head-on, saying that “the entire point of the [14th] Amendment was to secure the rights of freed slaves.” In other words, claiming that the 14th Amendment forbids race-conscious government action is not just wrong, it’s a complete inversion of the historical record, which shows that the amendment itself was a race-conscious effort to create parity between black and white citizens. To hammer the point home, Jackson pointed to the words of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction as well as the text of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, both of which made clear that the goal was not race-neutrality as a general principle, but in particular the equality of freed slaves…