Red State Allowed To Use Gerrymandered Map Thanks To Supreme Court Delay

Joe Ravi via Wikimedia Commons

The three-judge panel that found South Carolina’s congressional map was racially gerrymandered ruled Thursday that it could be used during the 2024 election due to the Supreme Court’s delay in resolving an appeal.

Given quickly approaching deadlines, the panel found it could not wait until the Supreme Court resolved the issue, modifying its initial order requiring the maps to be redrawn to allow their use during the 2024 election cycle. The panel ruled last January that the state’s 1st Congressional District, currently represented by Republican Rep. Nancy Mace, was racially gerrymandered.

“But with the primary election procedures rapidly approaching, the appeal before the Supreme Court still pending, and no remedial plan in place, the ideal must bend to the practical,” the panel wrote.

The judges wrote that pending deadlines, like the military and overseas absentee ballot deadline of April 27 and primaries scheduled for June 11, made it “plainly impractical” to adopt a new plan now.

“The Court hereby exercises its authority under Rule 62( d) to modify its injunction to preserve the status quo on appeal,” the panel wrote.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in October but has not yet issued a ruling. The state had asked the justices to issue their ruling by Jan. 1 to “ensure clarity” for the 2024 election.

During oral arguments, the Supreme Court seemed skeptical that the map was racially gerrymandered in violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

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