Good surprise from SCOTUS! Allen v. Milligan

SCOTUS’ decision in Allen v. Milligan surprised many. It was a big win for Black voters across the country. Upholding the Voting Rights Act, SCOTUS took one step toward protecting voting rights of all.

Did you hear the news? Can you believe what SCOTUS did today? These were things I heard on Thursday, June 8 as people began taking and talking about SCOTUS’ decision in Allen v. Milligan, 21-1068. It was unexpected and surprising considering all the recent decisions from the Court. If you haven’t read the decision or seen articles about the impact of the decision, here are some things to read:

Democracy Docket Daily Docket, Mark Elias

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered its ruling in Allen v. Milligan, striking down Alabama’s congressional map and leaving Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) intact.  Read Marc’s reaction to the decision here.

Yesterday’s decision is already reverberating across federal courts. Louisiana wants the U.S. Supreme Court to resume proceedings in its own Section 2 redistricting case, a federal court in Georgia requested additional briefing in the Peach State’s redistricting case and plaintiffs in a Kansas lawsuit submitted a notice arguing that the decision in Allen precludes one of the defendant’s arguments. We are seeing movement in other cases as well. Read our thread here.

Supreme Court orders voting maps redrawn in Alabama to accommodate Black voters in surprise ruling, Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

“Supporters of voting rights had feared that the court twas going to make it harder for minorities to challenge maps under Section 2 of the historic Voting Rights Act.”
“The decision – that affords additional opportunities for minority voters to elect the candidate of their choice – comes as a surprise given the conservative majority on the court.”
Read de Vogue’s complete article.

Symone DS. anders of MSNBC interviews Khadidah Stone, one of the plaintiffs in [Allen v. Milligan]. She talks about what the win means in the fight for fair representation in other states.
Watch here.

All On the Line – BREAKING NEWS:

American Constitution Society Statement in Response to SCOTUS Decision in Allen v. Milligan
Contact: Nancy Rodriguez,

“ACS celebrates the Supreme Court’s decision to require Alabama to redraw its racially gerrymandered congressional map in order to create a second majority Black district,” said ACS President Russ Feingold. “A key provision of the Voting Rights Act lives on to fight another day as the Roberts Court chose to adhere – for a change – to decades of its own precedent and uphold Section 2, a critical safeguard for voting rights in this country.”
“Today’s decision is a welcome reprieve to the Roberts Court’s steady erosion of the Voting Rights Act, one of the most successful pieces of civil rights legislation enacted in this country,” said Lindsay Langholz, ACS Senior Director of Policy and Program. “The damage done by this Court’s choice to use the shadow docket last year to allow a racially gerrymandered map to stand for the 2022 midterm elections should not be ignored. Today’s decision does not undo that damage, but we celebrate the victory for the Alabamians whose votes have been illegally diluted and remain hopeful that the voters in Louisiana and future litigants will find redress under Section 2 going forward.”

All On The Line

“The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Milligan and Caster plaintiffs in the Allen v. Milligan case, marking a resounding and significant victory for Black voters in Alabama and across the country. Our affiliate, the National Redistricting Foundation, supported plaintiffs fighting on the behalf of Black Alabamians to ensure that their voices would be heard and rights protected. The U.S. Supreme Court has reaffirmed its commitment to safeguarding the rights of voters across the nation, by upholding the protections enshrined in the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the landmark civil rights legislation that has stood strong for decades.

The VRA — often referred to as the crown jewel of the civil rights movement — has been repeatedly upheld in numerous cases over the years and has received overwhelming bipartisan support for more than half a century. To compromise its integrity in any way would have been a grave disservice to our democracy. And because racially discriminatory voting processes still persist, the legal protections in the Voting Rights Act are still absolutely necessary.”

Daily Docket:
“Today [June 8], the U.S. Supreme Court dropped its decision in the landmark voting rights case Allen v. Milligan. In a big win for voters, the Court struck down Alabama’s congressional map and upheld Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Alabama will now be required to draw a new congressional map with a second majority-Black district, giving Black voters the opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice.
Today’s opinion was authored by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by the Court’s three liberal justices. Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the opinion for all but one part. The majority upheld Section 2 of the VRA and its current application. Read our breakdown of the opinion here.
Alabama won’t be the only state affected by today’s decision. Aside from Allen, there are currently 30 ongoing redistricting lawsuits in 10 states that stand to be impacted. These are the cases to watch now.