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Monday, November 7, 2022

NJ Employment Lawyer, Employee Rights May Be Affected by Dilution of Black Vote for Midterm Elections

The dilution of the voting power of Black voters is at issue for the 2022 midterm elections in a case currently before the Supreme Court. In Merrill v. Mulligan, in  a challenge to a redistricting map drawn by the state of Alabama, civil rights organizations and group of Black voters claim that a re-redistricting map drawn by and sought to be enforced by the State of Alabama dilutes the voting power of Black Alabamans for the 2022 midterm election cycle and beyond. Alabama has a long history of Black voter suppression.

The Uniform Congressional District Act and Gerrymandering

In December 1967, single-member House of Representative districts were mandated by Federal law pursuant to the Uniform Congressional District Act (2 U.S. Code §2c), (“CDA”) under the justification that they served as protection against such biased practices in the drawing of districts. The CDA at that time, provided in part that all states “establish congressional districts to be composed of contiguous and reasonably compact territory and which until 1972 shall not reflect a population difference of more than 30% between the largest and smallest district,  which difference after 1972 shall not be larger than 10%.” Currently, each congressional district within a state has to be as equal in population to all other congressional districts within the state as practicable.

However, those who sought to dilute or totally eliminate African American voting power in congressional districts found a way to circumvent and thwart the goals of the CDA and the Voting Rights Act by gerrymandering, that is drawing the lines in the single member congressional districts in such a manner where the persons of color of voting age have their votes be diluted and not have effective power.

For example, in a state with 10 Congressional Districts, a district could be drawn in such a manner so that almost all of the persons of color would be in one voting district (“packing”), leaving the other 9 Congressional Districts to have a white majority. The dilution of Black voting power could also be accomplished by drawing the district lines in a manner that parts of the African American voting population were scattered around within numerous districts, making the  African American voting population a minority within those districts, (“dilution”) thereby ensuring that the majority White demographic, would be able to elect the candidate of their choosing.

In spite of the Congressional District Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the dilution of voting power for persons of color continues, as is evidenced by the case currently before the Supreme Court and subject of the case in Merrill v. Mulligan.

In Merrill v. Mulligan, the state of Alabama drew lines for new a congressional map with 7 districts but just one district with a non-minority majority i.e., just one district has a Black majority out of seven total.

Blacks comprise approximately 27 percent of Alabama’s voting age population. Based on its population, Alabama  is currently divided into seven (7) congressional districts, each represented by a member of the US House of Representatives. Under the  District Map sought to be used by Alabama, it drew the congressional district lines in a manner so that only one district out of seven would have a majority of Blacks.

Challengers to this map argue that Alabama engaged in gerrymandering by drawing the district lines to divide the constituencies of the total voting area, to have just one district where Blacks were in the majority. Alabama drew the lines so that the remaining Blacks would be scattered among the other 6 districts and comprise a racial minority in those 6 districts, thereby diluting the voting power of Blacks in those 6 white majority districts.

The District Court found that the map was substantially likely to violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and ordered the Alabama legislature to create a second Black opportunity district in time for the 2022 midterm elections. However, the State of Alabama appealed the decision of the court.

The US Supreme Court agreed to hear the case on February 7, 2022, but stayed the lower court’s judgment pending appeal, and mandated use of the original, only one Black majority district out of seven districts, to be used for the 2022 midterm election cycle.

The final decision in Merrill v. Milligan has not yet been rendered as to whether this redistricting map that the State of Alabama had drawn, may be used in the future.

But Alabama won for the use of the original redistricting map containing only one Black majority district as to this 2022 midterm election cycle.

No Matter What State You Live In, Voting Rights Affect Numerous Civil Rights Including Your Rights as an Employee

When voters cast their votes for their elected officials, they are voting for their representatives who will ultimately draft, promote and vote on passing laws that expand their rights as an employee or diminish them. When you cast your vote for elected officials, you are casting your vote for your representatives who will draft, promote and vote on passing laws that expand your rights as an employee or diminish them. These are laws that establish legal rights for employees who are members of a protected class, such as race, gender, disability, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, members of the Armed Forces, etc. The laws also define the classes that are legally protected from job discrimination. The laws your elected representative pass also set the minimum wage, overtime rules, and other wage payment and protections.

Do Not Sit on Your Rights. If You Quit Your Job, You May Lose Right to Prevail in a Lawsuit.

In many instances of discrimination, if you quit your job, you may lose right to prevail in a lawsuit unless you first take certain legally required measures to preserve your job while you are still employed. If you are thinking of quitting, or think you will be fired, you should contact this office immediately to discuss your options in the safest way for you.

What You Can Do

Let me fight for you. I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced in successfully representing employees who were discriminated against by employers. If you are thinking of resigning, or think you will be terminated, or were terminated, it is important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower law.

If you think you may have been discriminated against, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation. I accept discrimination and whistleblower cases from all over New Jersey.

If you have been demoted, had your hours cut, terminated, harassed or been subjected to retaliation for complaining about, objecting to, refusing to participate in, or reporting what you believe is your employer’s illegal or improper conduct, you should contact this law firm as soon as possible. I am successful in bringing whistleblower and discrimination lawsuits against governmental entities and private employers and recovering money for workers.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law represents workers throughout the entire state, including Hackensack, Jersey City, Newark, Irvington, Orange, East Orange, Trenton, Paterson, Montclair, Elizabeth, North Brunswick, Union, Plainfield, Lakewood, Edison and in every county including Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, and Morris.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law has convenient locations in Southern, Central, Western and Northern NJ to meet with clients.


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