Supreme Court, Bloomberg Radio, Rebecca Green discussed on Bloomberg Law


Is Bloomberg law with June grosso from Bloomberg radio I've been talking to professor Rebecca green of William and Mary law school about Alabama appealing to the Supreme Court After a federal court ordered the state to draw new congressional districts including a second district with a substantial number of minority voters So is the Supreme Court likely to take the case Yes there's mandatory jurisdiction for the Supreme Court in statewide redistricting cases So unlike other cases where the court can decide or not decide here is the court will take it for part of the reason that you are suggesting which is that redistricting cases are a unique type of case because elections happen and you can't delay decisions because elections have to happen So I think you can expect that the Supreme Court will weigh in one way or the other here And how much will a decision by the Supreme Court enlighten us about how it's going to look at other similar challenges and we're expecting other similar challenges aren't we in the run up to the next election Yeah there has been a couple of instances where states are kind of being very assertive about wanting to draw lines from a color blend perspective And I think what's happening there is they are wondering whether there are a majority of justices on the court who would be open to the idea that using race in redistricting violates the constitution And so I wonder whether they are taking this path because they want to test that out Is it correct to say that the Roberts court has been cutting back on voting rights I think it's correct to say that the Robert squirt has been putting pressure on section two of the Voting Rights Act For sure I'm trying to think of a voting rights case where the Roberts court in recent years expanded voting rights Well I mean you can look at redistricting cases in the last decade where the court made clear that it would require safe to comply with the Voting Rights Act So it's not like they've been inventing towards repudiating it wholesale In fact just as Thomas has been one of the only justices who take in that line very firmly and consistently that is that section two is unconstitutional So I don't think it's fair to say that there's been a drum beat by a majority of justices of the court to do away with it And if you look at the decisions over the last ten years it's courted certainly has recognized Let's turn to Pennsylvania Pennsylvania appellate court struck down a law that allows no excuse absentee voting explain why it struck down that law what its reasoning was Yeah so this is kind of an interesting set of circumstances So in 2019 the Pennsylvania legislature on the bipartisan vote passed legislation to enable no use absentee voting And the legislation itself I think it was a 180 days that you were that you could bring a challenge to it And no one brought that challenge In fact it wasn't until after the 2020 election when all of the sudden you started hearing this argument that that law was unconstitutional at least with respect to the state constitution And basically the argument is that the state constitution requires that voters vote in person And that therefore the state legislature lacked the ability to pass its absentee voting legislation because what it would have had to do is essentially first amend the state constitution But the trick is that the state constitution doesn't actually anywhere say that you have to vote in person rather it says that it's talking about how a qualified elector has to establish residency 60 days before an election in the constitution the words in the constitution are in the election district where he or she shall offer to vote And so the argument that the Republicans are making is that the offer to vote language suggests that you're offering in person to vote which is a little bit of a stretch It doesn't actually say that in the constitution but the argument anyway is that the legislator couldn't pass that law because it would first about absente voting because it was first half to amend the constitution to make it clear that you could vote remotely Judge Hanna levit wrote no excuse mail in voting makes the exercise of the franchise more convenient and has been used four times in the history of Pennsylvania Yet they went on to say you had to amend the constitution It seems odd to say that and then It is all I think it is odd because they also said they also acknowledge that there is a 180 day period to challenge the law And yet plaintiffs here waited until after an election had passed when voters relied on that law to challenge it So it's even odd to me that you would even accept this case So so far into the future But in any event even aside from that it is pretty incredible that the court so long after the legislature acted is kind of using this very vague language in the constitution to say that the legislature overstepped Some of the Republicans who voted for the law are part of the group filing this lawsuit against the law And so the 5 judge Commonwealth court split along party lines with three Republican judges agreeing with the Republican petitioners and two Democrats dissenting So the state is going to appeal to the state Supreme Court where Democrats have a majority Is the state Supreme Court likely to reverse the decision of the 5.

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