MONTGOMERY, AL – Legal challenges to Alabama’s legislative districts reached a milestone yesterday when the federal three-judge court presiding over the case unanimously dismissed all remaining objections to the districts. The new districts were first drawn in 2014 and were revised earlier this year in response to guidance from the United States Supreme Court. In 2018 the state will use the new districts to elect members of the 2018-2022 Legislature.
“We went through an exhaustive process to ensure that the new districts were drawn fairly, and I am glad the courts agreed that the legislative districts map for 2018 is clearly constitutional,” said Senator Gerald Dial (R-Lineville), chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Reapportionment. “More counties are made whole in the new maps and we adhered to a strict one-percent population variance between districts.”
In the 2017 session earlier this spring, the Republican-led Legislature made slight adjustments to the districts originally drawn in 2014, under guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court. All of the majority-black districts in both the State Senate and House of Representatives were redrawn, which by necessity required changing the lines of many adjacent and nearby districts.
“It has been an interesting and educational process, but one that I’m glad to have finished. Our ultimate goal was to draw a good map and to honor the wishes of the court,” remarked Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville), a member of the Joint Committee on Reapportionment. “I believe we did that and that we have guaranteed that the voters in Alabama will be accurately represented in the state legislature.”
“The U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures the authority to draw electoral districts and we have been faithful stewards of this responsibility,” McClendon concluded.
Primaries for the 2018 election cycle will be held on June 5, 2018.