Above: David Stras, neoconfederate judge
In Brnovich v. DNC, the Supreme Court’s Republicans decided that since they didn’t like the Voting Rights Act they should just go ahead and write a new one. In addition to Alito’s Laura Ingraham monologue for the Court, Neil Gorsuch wrote a blog (joined only by Thomas) suggesting that although the vast majority of suits brought under the Voting Rights Act that have made it to he Supreme Court were private actions, it was an open question whether the Voting Rights Act could be enforced with private lawsuits. (A ruling that only the DOJ can being Voting Rights Act suits would effectively suspend the statute during Republican administrations, which is of course the point.)
A 2-1 panel of the 8th Circuit has decided to go ahead and 1)treat Gorusch’s concurrence as the controlling precedent and 2)answer the question that the concurrence only raised (admittedly in a way that implied the answer):
The majority was Stras (Trump) and Greunder (G.W. Bush), with Chief Judge Smith (also G.W. Bush) dissenting.
If I had to bet, I would guess that the Supreme Court will reverse this attempt to preemptively usurp their authority — but I wouldn’t bet anything I couldn’t afford to lose on it either.