Apparently a Bridge Too Far for SCOTUS

Matthew G. Saroff
3 min readMar 8, 2022


State courts in North Carolina and Pennsylvania have ruled that the Republican led redistricting in those states violates their state constitutions, and by a 6–3 vote, the Supreme Court has ruled that it won’t intervene.

I gotta figure taht this is more of a, “Switch in time that saved nine,” scenario more than anything else.

John Roberts, who voted with the majority, has been a lifelong advocate of voter suppression of minorities, but I think that he was worried about the potential political fallout here:

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected two separate Republican challenges to congressional maps in North Carolina and in Pennsylvania, representing victories for Democrats in two key redistricting fights ahead of the 2022 fall elections.

The court noted that the Pennsylvania case is pending before a lower federal court. There were no noted dissents to that order.

The majority in the North Carolina ruling provided no reasoning, as is customary in such emergency orders. Three conservative justices dissented from Monday’s order, arguing the court should restore the map drawn up by the state’s GOP-led Legislature and then consider whether the federal Constitution prevents state courts from reviewing congressional redistricting decisions made by state lawmakers.

“We will have to resolve this question sooner or later, and the sooner we do so, the better,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh filed a separate opinion saying the issue deserved review but it was too close to the 2022 elections for federal courts to intervene in a state-led process. He observed that he had taken a similar position last month, when he joined a 5–4 majority reinstating Alabama’s congressional maps, which a federal court found violated the Voting Rights Act by concentrating Black voters’ political power in one of the state’s seven House districts.

Gee, that’s mighty white of Justice Kavanaugh, isn’t it?

Also, I wonder if Roberts would have gone the other way if his vote would have made a difference.