Thursday, June 8, 2023

Balch & Bingham's defense of racist voting maps goes up in flames, as U.S. Supreme Court rejects Alabama's latest effort to trample the rights of minority voters

George Wallace: Stand in the Schoolhouse Door

Today's U.S. Supreme Court decision, rejecting Alabama's Republican-drawn congressional voting map, is a major blow to Birmingham's embattled Balch & Bingham law firm, according to a report at, which operates under the CDLU public charity and advocacy group.

K.B. Forbes, CEO of the CDLU, writes under the headline "Crushing Defeat for Balch & Bingham! U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Repugnant Racist Redistricting Scheme":

Embattled law firm Balch & Bingham was handed a huge, crushing defeat this morning by the U.S. Supreme Court, which rejected Balch’s congressional-voting redistricting defense for the State of Alabama.

Dorman Walker, a Balch partner, represented the State of Alabama and John H. Merrill, the former Alabama Secretary of State, before the nation’s highest court.

“Under the Court’s precedents, a district is not equally open when minority voters face—unlike their majority peers—bloc voting along racial lines, arising against the backdrop of substantial racial discrimination within the State, that renders a minority vote unequal to a vote by a nonminority voter,” Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.

Civil-rights groups challenged the map in court, calling it “the latest example of a decades-long pattern of the white-controlled Alabama Legislature enacting congressional and state-legislative districts that discriminate against Black voters to maintain power,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Supreme Court's decision draws heavily on Alabama's ugly history with voting rights of racial minorities. It also shines light on Balch & Bingham's ugly history on matters of race. Writes Forbes:

Last year, a federal court in Birmingham, Ala., ruled that the map violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in voting. 

Citing “Alabama’s extensive history of repugnant racial and voting-related discrimination,” the district court ordered Alabama to redraw its map to create an additional district “in which Black voters either comprise a voting-age majority or something quite close to it,” the Wall Street Journal added.

And what about Balch & Bingham’s history of repugnant racial discrimination?

The late Schuyler A. Baker, Sr. was at one time a top attorney at Balch & Bingham, and also an avowed and staunch segregationist who was part of racist Governor George Wallace’s inner circle in the 1960s. 

During the Civil Rights struggle, Baker was mentioned in a The New York Times article about a federal highway scandal.

And why was the federal highway scandal so sensational?

The Wallace-era highway scandal in 1964 involved the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Robert Shelton, who was contracted as a “publicity man,” according to The New York Times.

Baker’s son, Schuyler Allen Baker, Jr., served as General Counsel at Balch from 1974 until his death in 2020.

Ironically, Schuyler, Jr. vowed to fight the CDLU and the Newsome Conspiracy Case to the death.

Now nearly 60 years later, the vestiges of racism still shine vibrantly.

Today does not mark Balch's first experience with a failed defense of voting districts, Forbes reports:

In 2011, Balch’s Walker defended the state’s redistricting plan that was later tossed out by a federal court because the state improperly used race. And now 12 years later, the Supreme Court of the United States, with a conservative majority, rejected Walker’s latest defense.

Former Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is no puritan, no angel. In 2021, Merrill was rocked by a “tie-her-up-and-bite-me” sexual affair of three years when raunchy texts and audio recordings were released by the media. 

Still refusing to apologize for the North Birmingham bribery scandal that targeted poor African American families (the scheme was born at the offices of Balch & Bingham), Balch Managing Partner Stan Blanton appears to be engaging in tokenism while collecting make-believe awards for “diversity and inclusion.”

Only 2 percent of Balch partners are people of color.

And Stan apparently can’t figure out why even the conservative Supreme Court of the United States hasn’t embraced Balch’s defense of a phony, fake, and racist redistricting plan.

Maybe Balch has contracted the wrong “publicity man.”

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