It’s Cooper v. Aaron, a few states over and without Biden sending the Screaming Eagles into Montgomery:
On Monday, Alabama went back to the U.S. Supreme Court to argue that its latest congressional map found to be illegal is not illegal and should not have been found to be illegal despite it not having addressed the issue that led to its earlier map having been found to be illegal.
At its simplest, Alabama has been ordered to draw a congressional map that includes a second “opportunity district” that will enable Black voters to elect the candidate of their choice. Alabama has refused.
Now, Republican Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen, represented by Republican Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, is arguing that the Supreme Court should OK that.
The move to the high court came hours after a three-judge district court refused to halt enforcement of its earlier order finding that Alabama’s 2023 congressional map continues to violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by illegally diluting Black Alabamians’ votes. The state had been ordered, in a ruling affirmed by the Supreme Court in June, to draw that second “opportunity district” in its congressional map, but the new map did no such thing.
Unsurprisingly, the three-judge district court was not happy about all of this and ordered Allen not to use the 2023 map. The court also ordered a special master to devise alternative maps — ones that would be legal — by later this month. Allen then asked for that ruling to be stayed — in effect, allowing the state to use the illegal map.
Further still, the state is asking for “a stay by October 1, 2023, at which point state officials and candidates must know whether the 2023 Plan’s districts will govern so election preparations can begin.” In other words, Alabama is asserting that, if given a stay, it will begin “preparations” to use the newest map, already found to be illegal by the lower court, for the 2024 elections.
I think this one case where John Roberts’s fanatical career-long antipathy to voting rights will yield to his desire to preserve the power of the Court. When it comes to Bart O’Kavanaugh, though, I think all bets are off.