OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided on the City of Miami voting map controversy.
The American Civil Liberties Union’s application was rejected by the nation’s highest court, which means the city’s map will be used in this November’s municipal election.
“The City of Miami residents won big today as our nation’s highest court recognized that political shenanigans by special interest groups will not be tolerated by an impartial Supreme Court,” said Miami Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla, according to NBC Miami. “They said enough is enough and I agree. Our City Commission-approved maps meet constitutional standards and protect our City of Miami neighborhoods. End of story.”
In the November elections, the city will use a map to determine who is eligible to vote and who can run for seats on the city commission in districts 1, 2, and 4. Currently up for re-election are Commissioners de la Portilla, Sabina Covo, and Manolo Reyes.
After new district lines were approved by city commissioners, the city was initially sued in December 2022 for racial gerrymandering, a strategy in which voting maps are used to lessen the voice of certain demographics.
The map approved by Miami commissioners “was an unconstitutional racial gerrymander that divided neighborhoods along racial lines, packed Black and Hispanic voters into specific districts, and undermined fair representation,” the ACLU said in a news release.
“This decision by the Supreme Court is disheartening and a blow to the residents of Miami and our democracy,” ACLU attorney Carrie McNamara said. “Unfortunately, that Court has chosen to temporarily permit blatantly gerrymandered maps that divide our communities along racial lines, compromising our right to fair representation. This decision has taken us a step back, stripping Miami residents of their voice and ability to be adequately represented, regardless of their race.”
The ruling comes as the 2024 presidential election is heating up.
The results of a new survey about President Joe Biden have the White House scrambling to engage in some damage control at a time when his chief rival, former President Donald Trump, is rising fast in the polls.
Ahead of what so far appears to be a looming rematch of their 2020 contest, a new Harvard Harris Poll found that Trump continues to dominate the field of Republican candidates while Biden suffers from a growing perception that he is no longer mentally fit to serve as commander-in-chief.
The poll found that less than one-third — 32 percent — of respondents believe that Biden is mentally fit to serve as President, while 68 percent expressed doubts about his mental acuity.
Meanwhile, the survey found that in a Democratic race, most voters prefer Biden. Yet, should he choose to drop out, the survey found Vice President Kamala Harris takes the forefront as the preferred candidate.
When Biden remains in the race, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. trails with 16 percent. Conversely, if Biden is out of the picture Harris takes a commanding position with 44 percent, effectively doubling RFK’s backing of 22 percent.
The results of the poll indicate that the findings could potentially have an impact on the 2024 Presidential Election. Despite Biden’s overall approval rating standing around 40 percent, the question of his mental fitness might play a decisive role for undecided voters. Poll analysts said that Democrats must proactively address these concerns if they wish to secure a second term for Biden.
On the Republican side, Trump’s lead over his GOP rivals is expanding, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, long the number two challenger, has continued to lose ground.
“Ron DeSantis has fallen behind both Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy in a new national poll, the latest to show the Governor’s slide among GOP Presidential Primary voters,” Florida Politics reported.
In the Harvard survey, a significant 54 percent of Republican voters believe that Trump will ultimately win the nomination. However, if Trump does not become the nominee, DeSantis will take the lead with 29 percent, followed by Ramaswamy at 19 percent, and former Vice President Mike Pence at 13 percent.
In hypothetical matchups, Trump maintains a five-point lead over Biden and a nine-point lead over Harris. In direct matchups, DeSantis essentially ties both Biden and Harris, the survey found.