GOP scrutiny of Black districts may deepen after court move

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – 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.