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Why the Supreme Court made this map illegal

And how it could swing the 2024 elections.

In 2013, a divided Supreme Court gutted one of the major pillars of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In the 10 years since then, the court has moved even farther to the right. So when the Voting Rights Act came before the Supreme Court again in 2022, it didn’t look good. But then something completely unexpected happened: in a 5-4 decision, two of the conservative justices voted with the three liberal justices to preserve the Voting Rights Act. And the effects could be huge.

At stake in the case was the way that Alabama divides up its congressional districts. Alabama has seven districts, one of which is a “majority-minority district” in which Black Americans are the majority of the population. In 2022, a group of Black voters sued the state, saying that under the law, Alabama should actually have two majority-minority districts. And the Supreme Court agreed.

The reason this matters to the rest of the country is that Alabama’s not alone — several other states in the south are now vulnerable to similar challenges that would increase the number of majority-minority districts. And especially in a region of the country where voting is racially polarized — where white people overwhelmingly vote Republican and Black people vote Democrat — this decision has the potential to flip multiple congressional seats in the next election. In a US House of Representatives where Republicans hold control by a margin of 10 votes or so, that’s a big deal. For the full story, watch the video above.

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