When South Carolina Republicans set out to redraw the state’s seven congressional districts after the 2020 census, they of course wanted to gerrymander it in the GOP’s favor. Now the Supreme Court is going to hear arguments for redistricting today. Via the Guardian:
In 2018, Democrat Joe Cunningham won the seat in an upset. In 2020, Republican Nancy Mace barely won it back. Now, Republicans wanted to redraw the district, which includes Charleston and stretches along the south-eastern part of the state, to be much safer. There was an easy way to do this – change the lines to add reliably Republican areas in three different counties to the district.
But there was a problem. The old district was about 17.8% Black and the new additions would make it 20% Black, enough to make it politically competitive. So the mapmaker Republicans tasked with coming up with a new plan began removing Black voters in Charleston from the first district, placing them in the neighboring sixth district, which is represented by Democrat Jim Clyburn. Ultimately, he removed more than 30,000 Black voters – 62% of Charleston’s Black population in the district – out of it. Mace comfortably won re-election in 2022.
Whether or not that removal was constitutional is at the center of a case the Supreme Court is set to hear on Wednesday called Alexander v South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP.