SCOTUS orders Alabama to redraw congressional voting map

Published: Jun. 13, 2023 at 6:19 PM EDT
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EAST ALABAMA. (WTVM) - A ruling from the US Supreme Court will force Republican lawmakers in Alabama to redraw its state’s Congressional District after a vote of five to four.

On Thursday, the US Supreme Court ruled Alabama’s Congressional Map was in violation of Section 2 of the landmark Voting Rights Act, stating it prohibits voting practice or procedures that discriminate based on race, color or membership in one of the language minority groups identified in Section 4–F2 of the Act.

“What they found is that it’s reasonable for Alabama to draw a second majority-minority district, and thus more fairly represents Blacks in the state of Alabama.”

The map drew only one district out of seven where most voters were Black. According to the United States Census Bureau, nearly 30% of Alabamians are African American.

President of the Alabama Democratic Conference, Joe Reed, says he believes the Supreme Court decision is long overdue.

“This plan will create two majority Black districts. The Alabama legislature has had a chance to do that, but thus far, it has failed to do so. There are going to be two Black districts, and I don’t think anybody can draw one any better than what we have. But overall, we are very comfortable with the kind of plan we have, and we want to have every voice in the state heard,” said Reed.

An Auburn University Political Science Professor, Joseph Aistrup says lawmakers will have to be done redrawing the new district map before the 2024 election cycle. He believes the most likely district to be redrawn is the seventh congressional district, which includes parts of western Alabama and Birmingham.

“They will basically put those Black belt counties with some precincts in the mobile area, and that will create a reliability large enough Black population so that it will be another majority-minority district,” said Aistrup.

Once a new district map is created, it will have to go through the state legislature again and be approved by Governor Kay Ivey.