The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday regarding Alabama’s redrawn congressional district map.
The plaintiffs believe the new map violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits racial discrimination in voting.
During an appearance on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” Wednesday, former U.S. Attorney Jay Town said the court will likely decide to keep the current district map.
“I think they’ll allow the state of Alabama to draw its lines.”
Town pointed out that while the court will side with the state, that doesn’t mean they’ll radically alter the interpretation of the Voting Rights Act.
“I think the Supreme Court is going to do a really deep dive into the Voting Rights Act,” said Town. “Maybe it’ll be a mixed bag. They’re going to keep the ‘you can’t use race as a reason to gerrymander’ … but at the same time, if there is any plausible explanation for the line that isn’t race, I think the Supreme Court is going to say ‘Hey, the states get to do it.'”
Town said the argument to redraw the congressional map just doesn’t make legal sense.
“I don’t think we should draw congressional districts around whether you’re black or white,” he said. “But, at the same time, they want to draw another one in because they’re black. It doesn’t square with the legal logic, and that’s kind of where I think the Supreme Court is going to fall.”
He warned that Democrats should be careful what they wish for when it comes to the rules around gerrymandering.
“We certainly can draw districts based on whether you’re Democrat or Republican, that’s not unconstitutional,” he said, “so the Milligan case might be another too smart by half type piece of litigation that comes and backfires against the left and pretty soon there’s seven districts they draw that are Republican districts.”
Town said there are Democratic states that would have to change their district map as well if the court ruled Alabama’s current map unconstitutional.
“You look at the state of New York and try to make sense of those congressional districts. You can’t do it,” he said. “Jerry Nadler’s district has a strip of a road that connects one white district with another white district and then there’s a road that connects it that nobody lives in; but it’s the only way that they could draw the map.”