Nicholas Riccardi/Associated Press
Civil rights activists worry that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling could embolden Republicans to take aim at splitting majority-Black districts and ultimately reduce Black voters' influence on Capitol Hill. In Florida, GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis took the unusual step last month of asking the state Supreme Court whether a Democrat's plurality-Black congressional district could be broken into whiter — and more Republican — districts. That type of request might typically face steep hurdles under laws meant to protect representation of marginalized communities. But the ground rules may be shifting after the high court sided with Republicans in Alabama to block efforts to add a second majority-Black district.
President Joe Biden is nodding to his most stalwart supporters in promising to nominate a Black woman for the new vacancy on the Supreme Court. Black women are the most reliable and enthusiastic bloc of Democratic voters. Biden won 93% of their votes in 2020. Black women are more likely to vote than Black men and are the foundation of most Democratic campaigns. Like women of all races, they have been graduating from college at increasingly high rates. Biden's historic nomination will also try to compensate for two centuries when the court was overwhelmingly white.