Alabama, Bloomberg Radio, Rebecca Green discussed on Bloomberg Law


This is Bloomberg law with June grosso from Bloomberg radio A dispute over Alabama's congressional voting maps is the first Supreme Court test for the new districts being drawn around the country to govern the next decades elections By a vote of 5 to four the court delta blow to minority voting rights by reinstating the Alabama congressional map that creates only one district likely to elect a black representative even though the state has a 27% black population The order ensures that Alabama voters will use the original Republican drawn map in the November election What does this case port ten for section two of the Voting Rights Act which outlaws election rules that discriminate on the basis of race I've been talking to Rebecca green a professor and co director of the election law program at William and Mary law school So this is the first case for these current Supreme Court Justices to consider how to apply the Voting Rights Act to racial gerrymandering In 2019 the court said federal courts had no role to play in policing partisan gerrymandering Would you just explain the difference between the two Yes So they're very different So it's essentially the argument was that part of the gerrymandering should be unconstitutional because partisanship shouldn't be prioritized in line drawing The court was unwilling to sort of go that far even than outliers sort of extreme cases And the gerrymandering context the argument is that race shouldn't be prioritized in drawing districts But that's always been in conflict with the Voting Rights Act requirement that race be taken into account in the sense that minor is not dilute minority voters And so there's been a long time tension between those two problems In other words you have to take risks into account to comply with the Voting Rights Act But if you use race exclusively or if rates predominates is the word that's used then you're subject to a racial gerrymandering suit So there's always been this sort of balancing act that LIDAR has had to walk but they've coexisted sort of until now And it's not clear how the splash will come out In Texas the Biden administration is challenging the state's voting maps Could this affect the decision in Texas Well any time that a plaintiff is challenging 2020 map trying to assert a section two claim they're barriers are going to be perking up here in terms of of course probable thinking on section two compliant So I think if you're voting rights attorney hoping to use section two to challenge a map you're shaking in your boots Do you know where the voting rights legislation stands Is there any hope in Congress of having voting rights legislation Right now it does seem like there's very strong momentum to address the electoral count act reform But that doesn't have anything to do with redistricting reform And it seems like that's going to be harder to come by in terms of building consensus on the sides of the aisle So tell us about the electoral count act So the electoral count act is basically the dispute resolution process for counting Electoral College votes So law that was written in the 1880s and is incredibly poorly written and drafted and is causing caused a lot of trouble on January 6th in terms of for example the role of the vice president and opening Electoral College ballots And do you think there's actually bipartisan support for it Yeah there's actually pretty strong bipartisan consensus that the law should be revised to be made more clear before the 2024 election And my understanding is that there's even consensus on what the focus of those reforms should be So I think that there's progress underway And there's been some optimism among members of Congress that electoral count reform will happen I'm doubtful because somehow it always seems that support for any kind of Voting Rights Act collapses in the end I think that the electoral count act is very different And the reason why is because if members of Congress can agree on how to clarify that language everyone will be better off in the sense that as long as you have the rules worked out clearly in advance of the election before you know who that will help things can unfold at least in an orderly way And I think January 6th was sort of the poster child for why electoral count act reform was needed And I think that for that reason there's a lot of motivation at least you get these rules in place As opposed to much kind of thorn in your questions of voting access versus integrity and kind of this political warfare over election rules that's been raging for years This is sort of a much more straightforward kind of like let's figure out what the steps are to certify a presidential election and how to handle any kind of disputes that make it to Congress And that's the much more cut and dry straightforward question that I think there's bipartisan consensus that clarity will help Thanks Rebecca That's Rebecca green of William and Mary law school Coming up next jury selection in the Ahmad Arbery hate crime trial This is Bloomberg The I haven't really woken up Until I've had my McDonald's breakfast deal and I know this is true because before breakfast I put my phone in the refrigerator and couldn't find the keys that were already in my.

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