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South Carolina Democrat seeks House seat, turns to US Supreme Court for support.

South Carolina Democrat Aims to Win House Seat Through Supreme Court Appeal

Democratic candidate Michael B. Moore is determined to help his party regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives from Republicans in 2024.

Political Fortunes Hang in the Balance

Moore’s bid for a coastal House district, which includes parts of Charleston, may be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. On Wednesday, the justices will hear an appeal by state officials who are seeking to implement a Republican-drawn map that a federal three-judge panel deemed illegal due to its dilution of Black voters’ power.

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In a legal challenge brought by Black voters, the lower court found that the map violated the Constitution’s 14th and 15th Amendments, which guarantee equal protection under the law and prohibit race-based voting discrimination. The map shifted 30,000 Black residents into a different district, effectively diminishing their influence.

Moore believes that those voters should be rightfully returned to his district, as recognized by the federal courts.

Redistricting and Gerrymandering

Redrawing legislative districts is a common practice in the United States to reflect population changes. However, gerrymandering, the manipulation of electoral boundaries to favor certain voters, remains a contentious issue. In this case, the Republican-controlled state legislature was accused of racial gerrymandering to reduce the power of Black voters.

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South Carolina officials argue that their map was designed to secure partisan advantages, a practice that the Supreme Court decided was not reviewable by federal courts in 2019. However, racial gerrymandering remains illegal. The state officials faulted the lower court for focusing on race rather than Republican interests in assessing the district’s composition.

The Supreme Court’s ruling, with its conservative majority, may determine whether a Democrat has a realistic chance of winning this district.

Implications for House Control

Similar legal cases over electoral maps in other states, including Louisiana, Georgia, and New York, could also impact which party gains control of the House. In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court ordered Alabama to create a second majority-Black U.S. House district, favoring Democrats. With a narrow 221-212 House margin, every district is crucial.

The Battle for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District

The 1st congressional district in South Carolina has historically leaned Republican. However, a Democrat won the seat in an upset victory in 2018, only for it to revert back to Republicans in 2020. Incumbent Republican Nancy Mace won by a slim margin of just over 1%. The redistricting process was used to bolster Republican support in the district, reducing the share of Black voters.

Moore, the great-great-grandson of Robert Smalls, a Black Civil War hero and congressman, hopes to reverse this trend.

Continuing the Legacy

Robert Smalls, who served in the U.S. Congress during the 19th century, fought tirelessly for voting and human rights. The district Moore aims to represent was previously redrawn by legislators seeking to weaken the influence of Black voters. Moore acknowledges that the battles for equality initiated by his ancestor continue to reverberate today.

Moore’s campaign seeks justice and a fair representation for all voters, ensuring that their voices are heard.

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