This week, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that caught some Court-watchers off-guard. It ruled that North Carolina lawmakers had violated the Constitution by using race as a proxy for divvying up voters along partisan lines. And it was surprising because the swing vote invalidating the gerrymander came from none other than Justice Clarence Thomas. On this week’s episode, we parse the outcome of Cooper v. Harris -- and what it portends for future redistricting litigation -- with Slate legal writer Mark Joseph Stern.
We also sit down with Jorge Barón, executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. Each year, that group provides assistance to thousands of immigrants threatened with deportation. But last month, the NWIRP received a strange cease-and-desist letter from the U.S. Department of Justice, threatening its ongoing legal work and raising some concerns that the group is being singled out for its defense of immigrants caught up in the first iteration of President Trump’s travel ban.
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