GOP Scores Back-to-Back Wins in Federal Court

Courts in Florida and South Carolina have each handed Republican legislatures congressional map victories that will affect the 2024 elections.

In one case, a federal three-judge panel in South Carolina ruled in favor of Republican lawmakers and will allow their congressional map to stand for this year’s elections while the U.S. Supreme Court hears claims that the map is racial gerrymandering, according to The Hill.

The map is good news for South Carolina Representative Nancy Mace, who is running for re-election to her First Congressional District seat.

The three-judge panel agreed with state lawmakers that barring the map now would be problematic for the coming elections. The panel ruled that the map can stand for this year’s election as the legality of the map is adjudicated.

“Having found that Congressional District No. 1 constitutes an unconstitutional racial gerrymander, the Court fully recognizes that ‘it would be the unusual case in which a court would be justified in not taking appropriate action to insure that no further elections are conducted under an invalid plan,’” the judges wrote in their five-page ruling.

“But with the primary election procedures rapidly approaching, the appeal before the Supreme Court still pending, and no remedial plan in place, the ideal must bend to the practical,” the judges added.

The same panel had ruled that the Republicans impermissibly moved 30,000 black voters to a different district and claimed that the map plan violates the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

But lawmakers argued that the election is too close to delay the map, saying, “It is simply too late now to seek such a change in the panel’s orders or to rush through a remedial proceeding for 2024.”

Opponents of the map disagreed, though.

“There is still time to draft and enact a remedial plan for the 2024 congressional elections, and Defendants’ misleading and unproven assertions about election imminence and voter confusion fall well short of meeting their ‘heavy burden’ to justify a stay,” said the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Republicans earned a second court victory in Florida, where another panel of judges sided with Republican lawmakers over a congressional map that goes back to 2022.

Judges in Florida turned down claims by activists that the state’s map was discriminatory against black voters, according to Politico.

The three-panel judge in Florida unanimously ruled that activists did not prove that the map was discriminatory against black voters.

Indeed, the panel pointed out that there was serious political resistance to the map when the DeSantis administration proposed it, but the political process ultimately passed the plan.

“Consequently, whatever might be said about the Legislature’s decision to give up the fight for preserving a Black-performing district in North Florida, it did not amount to ratification of racial animus in violation of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments,” the judges said.

The judges went on, saying, “A public and collective decision-making body, like the Florida Legislature, is answerable only for its own unconstitutional actions and motivations. The unlawful motivations of others — whether constituents, the Governor, or even a single member of the body itself — do not become those of the decision-making body as a whole.”

Even if an appeal was filed for the three-judge panel’s decision, it would be too late to affect the 2024 election.

The battle against the state’s map will now move to the courts as activists continue to try and sink the map. Already, one case is before the state’s supreme court.

via madpatriotnews

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