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The Supreme Court recently approved North Carolina and Pennsylvania’s state-approved elector maps. Democrats in the two states can now win more representation state-wide with the Pennsylvania and North Carolina maps. Republicans brought the case to SCOTUS in favor of striking the court-approved maps. However, SCOTUS did not rule to change the maps again.

Surprisingly, at least one conservative justice sided with the liberal wing of SCOTUS in supporting the maps. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a concurring opinion.

State supreme courts in both North Carolina and Pennsylvania previously approved the re-drawn maps, which were initially created following the 2020 census. The original maps provided an edge to Republicans in the two battleground states. 

But state supreme courts ruled the maps were gerrymandered, or drawn in favor of the party in power. Both states’ original maps gave an edge to Republicans. 

The SCOTUS decision was a blow to state Republicans. Now Democrats in North Carolina and Pennsylvania have more of a chance to win elections. 

SCOTUS approves North Carolina electoral map, Pennsylvania electoral map

SCOTUS previously held that map rulings in elections are supervised by state courts, not federal. However, Republicans have vowed to continue the fight for gerrymandered maps.

Meanwhile, according to Hilary Harris Klein, a voting-rights advocate, ??“Today’s move by the court reinforces that legislatures do not have a ‘free pass’ to violate protections against partisan gerrymandering when drawing districts that undeniably hurt voters.”

This is not the first time Republicans have fought for maps that provide an unfair advantage. In Alabama, SCOTUS approved a map with only one-majority Black electoral district. 

However, this week’s events provide more fair election opportunities for voters.

Justice Kavanaugh, in his written statement, noted that other state maps will likely draw SCOTUS’ attention. 2022 is a very important year for voters, as the midterm elections will drive policies across all 50 states. 

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Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...