Federal court rejects Alabama GOP's redrawn congressional districting maps

September 7, 2023

Alabama Republicans lost their bid to redraw congressional maps after a federal judge shot it down for failing to draw in a second majority-Black district, as instructed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to Breitbart, the newest-submitted redistricting maps, signed into law by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) earlier this year, were tossed by a three-judge panel.

The federal panel included "Clinton-appointed Judge Stanley Marcus and Trump-appointed Judges Anna Manasco and Terry Moorer."

Breitbart noted:

Currently, Alabama’s seventh congressional district is the only majority-black voting district in the state, despite Alabama’s 27 percent black population. That district is represented by the state’s lone Democrat, Rep. Terri Sewell.

The redistricting issue, especially in Alabama, has been a wild series of legal battles as both sides attempt to gain an advantage. The stakes are high, given that Alabama's and few other states' congressional maps will likely dictate who holds majority control of the House next year.

The first round of maps drawn by the Republican-led state legislature were rejected by a lower court, citing the lack of Black voting districts. The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling earlier this year, and instructed Alabama Republicans to add a second Black majority district, "or something quite close to it."

In the eyes of the federal court, the second round of maps failed to do so.

"We have now said twice that this Voting Rights Act case is not close," the panel of judges wrote. "And we are deeply troubled that the State enacted a map that the State readily admits does not provide the remedy we said federal law requires."

"The law requires the creation of an additional district that affords Black Alabamians, like everyone else, a fair and reasonable opportunity to elect candidates of their choice." They added that Gov. Ivey's approved map "plainly fails to do so."

Alabama Attorney General Steven Marshall's (R) office released a statement in the wake of the ruling, expressing disappointment but vowing to fight back.

While we are disappointed in today’s decision, we strongly believe that the Legislature’s map complies with the Voting Rights Act and the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court," Marshall’s office said in a statement.

His office added, "We intend to promptly seek review from the Supreme Court to ensure that the State can use its lawful congressional districts in 2024 and beyond."

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