In a recent redistricting case in Mississippi, a federal judge ruled that black voting strength had been illegally diluted in a particular district and ordered that several majority-black precincts be added to it. The case was appealed, and a three-judge appellate panel upheld the ruling, 2-1. The dissenting judge, Edith Brown Clement, unsurprisingly disagreed with the majority on a number of points of law.
But that’s not all. She also explicitly accused the majority of ruling in favor of the black defendants because they were Democrats:
This case presents several extraordinary issues. Unfortunately, this court’s usual procedures do not appear to permit en banc review of this denial of a stay even if a majority of the active judges would otherwise grant it. I am afraid defendants have simply had the poor luck of drawing a majority-minority panel. I trust that in light of this, the State will pursue a stay in the Supreme Court because of the injustice that results from the joint efforts of the district judge and the motions panel majority.
The Supreme Court has five Republican justices and four Democrats. I guess that’s more to Judge Clement’s liking.
UPDATE: Wait. Both of the judges in the majority appear to be white men. So what was Clement referring to? The consensus seems to be that she was referring to party affiliation, not race. I’ve revised the headline and the text to reflect that.