Good news -- a week after rejecting an appeal for North Carolina's voter ID laws sought by state Republican lawmakers, the Supreme Court has struck down the state's racially gerrymandered districts.
Amazingly, Justice Clarence Thomas concurred with the majority's ruling.
The 5-3 ruling, written by Justice Elena Kagan, was the latest in a series of decisions by the justices against the excessive use of race in redistricting, the decennial process of drawing new district lines for Congress and state legislatures. Justice Clarence Thomas joined the court's four liberal justices in striking down the state's maps. [...]
The North Carolina ruling upheld a federal district court decision that struck down the state's 1st and 12th congressional districts because state lawmakers had packed African American voters into them, thereby minimizing the influence of black voters in other districts. Kagan said the 1st district "produced boundaries amplifying divisions between blacks and whites," while in the 12th, "race, not politics, accounted for the district's reconfiguration."
While he did concur with the majority, Justice Thomas did so for his own reasons, writing that creating a majority-black district was enough on its own to warrant scrutiny from the court.
I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I can't help but feel like Thomas's opinion could be used in unintended (or fully intended) ways.
In any event, it's a new day in North Carolina. Democrats should continue to fight like hell for control of the state. Local Rev. William Barber, leader of the Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina, recently announced that he's resigning from the local NAACP to lead a national version of the movement.