The Supreme Court may have just given Democrats a major gift as they seek to win back the House of Representatives in the 2024 elections.
The high court issued a decision recently that struck down the congressional map that was drawn up in Alabama. In the case, Allen v. Milligan, the Supreme Court decided that the map violated the Voting Rights Act’s Section 2 that prohibits gerrymandering on racial lines.
Its ruling was based on the fact that there was only one district out of seven in the entire state that consisted of a majority of Black residents. This case sets a precedent that now could be applied to other states in the south such as South Carolina, Texas, Georgia and Louisiana – of which have cases pending regarding their own congressional maps.
Political experts who spoke with the Daily Caller News Foundation recently said that if the maps were to be overturned in all these states, it could result in multiple Republican incumbent candidates losing their seats.
University of Buffalo professor Shawn Donahue, who is a redistricting expert, spoke with the DCNF recently about a case that’s pending in Louisiana. He said:
“[T]he fact pattern is pretty similar … [t]here could be a second black-majority seat.”
If seats such as that increase, it could lead to Democrats having a better chance at reclaiming the majority in the House, since “[n]ew black majority seats being basically new Democratic seats,” according to Donahue.
Republicans currently only have a very slight majority of four seats in the current Congress, and they will have a challenging time holding onto that majority. The Supreme Court ruling now makes that path even more challenging.
As a result of this high court ruling, the Cook Political Report – a non-partisan organization that makes predictions about each district in upcoming elections – changed its ratings for five different districts for 2024 from being “Solid R” to being “Toss Up.”
That’s quite a huge swing, to go from being almost a shoe-in that a Republican will win the state to a chance that a candidate for either party could win. It’s very likely that if new districts are indeed re-drawn, the GOP will lose some support.
The outlook for two of the districts that could be affected by this ruling are the 5th and 6th districts in Louisiana, both of which are currently represented by Republicans. Many Republican state leaders, concerned about the eventual effect on their state politics, are already trying to respond to hopefully hold off a change.
The state Senate’s majority leaders, Sharon Hewitt, who is also running for governor in Louisiana, said recently that they are currently analyzing the high court’s Alabama ruling from last week.
While the Milligan ruling could have an effect on other states, it’s likely to be felt the hardest in Alabama. In that state, Donahue said he predicts “a district that has a lot of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, with a little of the west of the Black Belt.” That entire district is likely to support Democratic candidates.