U.S. Supreme Court

Legal Expert: SCOTUS’ Stay Might Have ‘Wrongly’ Given Republicans the House

You just knew there was a catch.

After the Supreme Court’s surprise ruling on the side of democracy in Allen v. Milligan that affirmed Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act Thursday morning, Steve Vladeck pointed out that given the probability that the additional districts would have been Democratic seats, the Court’s 2022 shadow docket might have wrongly given Republicans control of the House.

“If you assume that additional majority-minority districts in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, & 1–2 other states would’ve been safe Democratic seats, then today’s #SCOTUS ruling strongly suggests that the Court’s 2022 shadow docket stays wrongly gave Republicans control of the House,” the legal expert wrote.

“It also puts into rather harsh perspective the Court’s unsigned, unexplained order in February 2022 that *allowed* Alabama to use its unlawful map for the 2022 midterms (like a similar order with respect to Louisiana). Only Justice Kavanaugh changed sides from that 5-4 ruling.”

“For those who defend #SCOTUS’s aggressive shadow docket behavior as simply ‘a preview of what the Court is going to hold on the merits,’ here’s yet *another* major example of that not being true—and of the Court on the merits ending up *repudiating* its grant of emergency relief.”

Vladeck is the author of “Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic,” so he sees the rulings from the Supreme Court in the context of how they impact small d democracy, which is how they should be viewed given the Court’s ongoing threat.

The Republicans only got the House by a very slim majority, so Vladeck’s point is a fair one and it should trouble anyone who values freedom and liberty.

While there’s no way of knowing how 2022 would have turned out if the Court had not delayed this ruling, we do know that it was a violation of basic civil rights of those whose voices were silenced in that election.

When one party gets power by silencing the voices and rights of people who tend not to vote for them, their power is undemocratic and in and of itself, an assault on our core principles.

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