Supreme Court to Weigh Whether South Carolina Districts Violate Voting Rights Act

May 15, 2023

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to review a lower-court ruling over whether South Carolina’s congressional districts need to be redrawn because they discriminate against Black voters.

South Carolina’s Republican-led state legislature redrew the state’s congressional map lines earlier this year following the 2020 Census. 

In January a panel of three federal judges ordered South Carolina lawmakers to draw new congressional maps, ruling that Congressional District 1 was intentionally redrawn to split the Black vote and dilute their voting power. That, the judges ruled, violated the Voting Rights Act.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R) won the seat for the state’s Congressional District 1, which runs from Charleston to Hilton Head, by 14 points in the 2022 midterm elections. 

In numerous recent interviews, Mace has referred to her congressional district as “a purple district,” asserting that her fellow Republicans across the country need to “read the room” regarding voter sentiment, particularly when it comes to the right to abortion.

As it’s currently drawn, 44% of the voters over age 25 in the district have a college or professional degree. The district’s population is 52% female, and its racial makeup is 68% white, 18% Black, 8% Hispanic and 2% Asian.

The Supreme Court will likely hear arguments in the case this autumn and hand down a decision in the run-up to the 2024 elections. Their ruling could potentially have a great impact the balance of power in the House, where Republicans currently hold a mere five-seat majority.

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