Friday, December 01, 2023

U.S. Supreme Court denies bid by Alabama lawmakers in redistricting fight

The U.S. Supreme Court won’t intervene in the fight over Alabama’s congressional maps.

On Tuesday the court denied a bid by state lawmakers for another look at the fight about the state having a second Black majority congressional district. Several groups sued to overturn the state’s 2021 congressional maps, which had one of seven districts majority Black. 

It was a last-ditch effort by the state to keep maps drawn during July’s special session and rejected by a three-judge federal panel earlier this month. The U.S. District Court will pick between three congressional maps drawn by a court-appointed special master and a cartographer.

All three will create Black-majority districts and be a likely pickup for Democrats.

“This is a victory for all Americans, particularly voters of color, who have fought tirelessly for equal representation as citizens of this nation,” former Attorney General Eric Holder said in a release. “Even with this court’s landmark decision to uphold Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Alabama Republicans have defied court orders at every turn by refusing to enact a map that gives Black Alabamians the opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice in two districts.

“These shameful, odious efforts to diminish the rightful voting power of Black Alabamians have finally been defeated. As a result, we will see more representative maps in places that were once thought to be unreachable in the fight for fairness: Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia. Justice has prevailed.”

On June 8, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Allen v. Milligan that said Alabama’s previously-drawn map violated the Voting Rights Act and ordered new maps that create an “opportunity district” for minority voters to cast ballots for the candidates of their choice.