It may get the most attention, but partisanship not the only way to measure how fair the country’s new congressional maps are. Equally important is how well they represent communities of color. And on this front, the congressional lines that will be used in the 2022 election leave a lot to be desired.
In theory, under the Voting Rights Act , every racial group must be given equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. When it comes to redistricting , this means drawing districts where nonwhite voters are the dominant voting bloc — enough to reasonably ensure they can elect their preferred candidate — whenever possible .
But this interpretation of the Voting Rights Act has been under siege lately by conservatives who believe it is unconstitutional . And with the current conservative makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court, Republican legislatures have shown a willingness to push the boundaries of the law, minimizing the number of nonwhite districts (which usually vote Democratic) in order to maximize the number of Republican ones.
To complicate matters further, there is no agreed-upon standard for how diverse a district needs to be in order to elect a minority’s […]