Supreme Court could forever change voting, affirmative action when ruling on 2 North Carolina-based cases

Supreme Court could forever change voting, affirmative action when ruling on 2 North Carolina-based cases

Cases ensuring fair federal elections and affirmative action are under threat by the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court – and both of these cases originated in North Carolina before working their way up to the high court.

As Axios highlights, these cases won’t only impact the future of North Carolina colleges and North Carolina elections. No matter how the court rules, the impacts will be felt nationwide.

The first case the Supreme Court will look at is Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina. The case was brought by an anti-affirmative action group and will require the Supreme Court to look at “race-conscious admissions” at UNC-Chapel Hill and Harvard.

Justices will hear arguments in late October on whether or not colleges and universities should be allowed to use race as a factor in their admissions process. Lower courts have previously sided with UNC.

The second case out of the Tar Heel State that the Supreme Court will take up is Moore v. Harper. This one sees Republican House Speaker Tim Moore and his fellow Republican legislative leaders argue that the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures “exclusive authority” over elections.

  • Suppose the Supreme Court rules against UNC-Chapel Hill. In that case, they will overrule long-standing precedent that has allowed for race to be considered a factor when admitting students to colleges or universities.
  • Moore and the NCGOP are arguing that state legislatures should have the full and final say when drawing congressional districts and creating voting rules – meaning that racist and extremely gerrymandered maps would be allowable under the law and courts could not strike them down.
  • In addition, ruling in favor of Moore would allow Republicans to also have the power to make up basically any voting rules they want, like requiring a photo ID, cutting out early voting entirely, or even changing the rules so as to target only Black voters. Courts would no longer be able to stop such rules from being enacted.

Moore v. Harper has been called “the death knell of democracy” by Duke University professor Asher Hildebrand and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the case could undermine democracy as we know it and that it “should keep every American up at night.”

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Moore, state legislatures across the U.S. would then have the same ability to impact redistricting maps and voting rules as North Carolina Republicans would – and state courts would not be able to strike down maps drawn by legislatures, no matter how gerrymandered they are.

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Patrick Zarcone

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