Supreme Court Asked To Block Possibly Racist Law

( Some Black voters from Georgia have asked the Supreme Court to reinstate an order from a judge that would prohibit the state from using a specific method to choose certain members for a regulatory panel.

The judge in that case found that Georgia’s methods were racially discriminatory. An appeals court, though, halted that order that came out of the Atlanta court. The Atlanta judge had ordered the state to come up with a new way to select members to the Georgia Public Service Commission.

The agency is responsible for overseeing the price of utilities such as electricity. The judge in the case found that the practice the state uses to fill the seats on the commission diluted the vote of Black residents illegally. The state uses at-large elections to fill the seats.

Candidates who want to run for a seat on the commission are required to live in one of the five districts that they are hoping to represent. Voters in the state, though, are able to cast their vote for any of the five seats.

This is what the group of Black voters are arguing isn’t right. They won their case at the low level in the Atlanta court.

However, that ruling was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. By a 2-1 vote, the appeals court ruled that District Judge Steven Grimberg’s decision should be halted.

The appeals court found that the issue at hand was being decided too close to the midterm elections in November. At that time, two of the five seats on the Georgia Public Service Commission will be up for election. Therefore, the court ruled that the challenge to the method by which seats are selected needed to be passed down the line to a future date.

The voter group from Georgia has since petitioned the Supreme Court to take up the matter on an emergency basis. Their request was delivered to conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, who is responsible for all emergency matters that come out of Georgia.

In their petition, the voter group is asking the high court to block the ruling handed down by the appeals court by the end of this week. They argue that must be done so the state of Georgia will have enough time to change the process for electing members to the panel well in advance of when the vote is scheduled to take place in early November.

In the filing the group made with the Supreme Court on Monday, they wrote:

“Georgia is home to millions of Black citizens whose voting power has been unlawfully diluted by the at-large method of electing Public Service Commissioners. That will continue for yet another election cycle unless this Court intervenes now to stop it.”

Georgia’s voting practices and laws have been the center of attention ever since the presidential election in 2020. Many liberals have criticized new election security laws the state passed and has started to implement.