MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Federal judges Monday will decide whether Alabama’s new congressional map can stand or violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and needs to be redrawn.
The Supreme Court in June affirmed a lower court ruling that said any remedial map will need two majority Black districts or “something quite close to it.”
During a special session in July, Republican lawmakers approved a map with 51% Black voting age population in District 7 and 40% in District 2.
The previous map drawn after the 2020 census had 55% Black voting age population in District 7 and 30% in District 2.
“They did not comply with the Supreme Court’s order,” Rep. Prince Chestnut (D-Selma) said.
Chestnut said he expects the Republican-passed map to be struck down.
“The majority, the supermajority just literally ignored that and decided to do what was convenient to continue to have one-party rule over the state of Alabama,” Chestnut said.
In a brief submitted by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, the state argues the map follows redistricting principles and keeps together communities of interest in the Gulf and Wiregrass.
It states the plaintiffs’ proposed maps violate redistricting principles in favor of race and says “Such affirmative action in redistricting would be unconstitutional.”
Political analyst Steve Flowers said he doesn’t think the court will accept that. He said this ruling will have widespread implications.
“North Carolina, Georgia and Texas have malapportioned districts that corner certain partisan groups into pockets,” Flowers said.
The hearing is scheduled for Monday morning at the Hugo Black Courthouse in Birmingham.