Supreme Court will hear cultural gerrymander claims in South Carolina.

The Supreme Court will hear a bid by South Carolina Republicans to restore a congressional district that a lower court ruled a racial gerrymander.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a bid by South Carolina Republicans to restore a congressional district that a lower court ruled a racial gerrymander.

Republicans led by South Carolina Senate President Thomas Alexander are contesting a January ruling that said one of the state’s seven newly drawn districts was configured to dilute the power of Black voters.

The district in question covers Charleston County, including the city of Charleston, and is currently held by Rep. Nancy Mace, a Republican.

Following the 2020 census, Republicans re-drew the boundaries in order to strengthen Republican control of what had become a competitive district.

It was won by Democrat Joe Cunningham in 2018 before he narrowly lost to Mace in 2020. The new map was used in the 2022 midterm elections, in which Mace won by a wider margin than she had two years previously.

Lawyers for the Republican lawmakers said in court papers that the three-judge panel should have operated on the presumption that the Legislature was acting in good faith. They also said that there were obvious political reasons why lawmakers wanted to move predominantly Democratic voters out of the district to cement a Republican majority.

Civil rights groups, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, alleged that Republicans targeted Black voters, moving almost 30,000 Black voters from the district into another one.

“That predominant reliance on race is impermissible even if mapmakers used race as a proxy for politics,” lawyers wrote in court papers. They argue that the new map violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

The Supreme Court is currently weighing a separate case concerning racial gerrymandering in the South, this time over Republican-drawn congressional districts in Alabama. The case could lead to a ruling that further weakens the landmark Voting Rights Act.

Leah Aden, a lawyer with the group, said Monday that the district was a “blatant example of unconstitutional racial gerrymandering and intentional vote dilution.”

Mace said last week she doesn’t “know anything about” the battle over her district, except that it makes her job difficult because there is uncertainty over who she will be representing.

“I will serve whomever the courts or the state decides we’re serving,” she added.

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