Dissenting Justice Kagan Appears to Shade Alito for Flying Upside-Down Flag

Jacquelyn Martin/Getty Images
Jacquelyn Martin/Getty Images

Justice Elena Kagan seemed to take a subtle swing at her conservative Supreme Court counterpart Samuel Alito in her dissent to a ruling issued Thursday morning.

The case, which was split 6-3 in its decision, was over a gerrymandered election map in South Carolina that a lower court had ruled as discriminatory towards Black voters. The Supreme Court’s decision Thursday reversed that ruling, finding no bias toward Black voters in MAGA Rep. Nancy Mace’s (R-SC) district.

Alito, writing for the conservative majority, said the plaintiff NAACP brought no significant evidence of racial bias in the map’s redistricting. He claimed they “did not offer a single alternative map” that would’ve redistricted the zone according to politics without also depressing Black voting power.

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Kagan strongly disagreed, alleging the conservative majority had adopted “special rules to specially disadvantage suits to remedy race-based redistricting.”

She said the majority, in its ruling, had effectively set a new precedent that put an unfair onus on plaintiffs in racial gerrymandering cases.

“As of today, courts must draw an adverse inference against those plaintiffs when they do not submit a so-called alternative map—no matter how much proof of a constitutional violation they otherwise present,” she wrote. “Such micro-management of a plaintiff’s case is elsewhere unheard of in constitutional litigation.”

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Then came the apparent drop on Alito, who became the subject of scrutiny after it was discovered that on two separate instances, flags related to Donald Trump’s stolen election conspiracies had flown at his properties. One of them was an upside-down American flag.

Kagan used a peculiar choice of words to describe the alleged backwardness of the majority’s use of the law.

“But as with its upside-down application of clear-error review,” Kagan wrote, “the majority is intent on changing the usual rules when it comes to addressing racial-gerrymandering claims.”

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