The Alabama Republican Party (ALGOP) on Monday filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the state’s ongoing legal arguments over its newly redistricted congressional map.
Immediately after Gov. Kay Ivey approved of the Alabama Legislature’s newly-drawn congressional district lines in November, multiple parties filed suit against the refreshed map. A three-judge federal panel in January ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, stating that the map stood in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Shortly after the federal district court’s ruling, Attorney General Steve Marshall and ALGOP filed briefs with the nation’s high court requesting temporary relief from the lower court’s decision, which was later granted. The Supreme Court will soon hear the state’s appeal of the lower court’s ruling.
ALGOP chairman John Wahl, in announcing the court filing, suggested that the brief was necessary so the party could “correct the record.”
“This case is incredibly important to the people of Alabama,” advised Wahl. “As a representative of Republican voters of all racial backgrounds, I felt it was incredibly important to correct the record in several areas, as well as provide addition information for consideration by the high court.”
Wahl noted the Republican Party’s historical efforts to forward the cause of racial equality.
“The ALGOP has a long history of defending civil liberties and minority rights, from our days as the party of Lincoln, to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1900s,” he added. “We look at each person as an individual with God-given rights. I am committed to continuing this proud tradition, and will continue to fight for free and fair elections for all the people of Alabama without looking at someone’s race or gender.”
The Republican leader advised that the Democratic Party had “suppressed” the voting rights of minorities and vowed that ALGOP would not allow the opposing party to “use minorities as a tool” for political purposes.
“History is clear, it was the Democrat Party that suppressed minority voting rights, and we are not going to sit by and watch the Democrat Party use minorities as a tool to increase their political power,” declared Wahl. “They forget that minority voters are both Republican and Democrat, and that minority Republicans deserve a voice too.”
He continued, “For over 100 years, Democrats maintained control of almost every aspect of government in Alabama. In fact, our current Congressional district lines are based off of maps drawn in the early 1990s. These basic lines were put in place by the Democrat controlled State Legislature and Alabama’s black caucus, and have been cleared by the U.S. Justice Department on multiple occasions.”
According to Wahl, the congressional map’s opponents were challenging the new district lines due to the Republican Party’s electoral successes.
“The question must be asked, why are these traditional District lines suddenly viewed as unfair? The answer is that Republicans started winning the seats originally created by the Democrats,” he suggested.
Wahl concluded, “As we say in our filing, if the struggle over political control means anything, it is that political control should be left to the people of the state being represented. The fact is the majority of Alabamians support the conservative principles of the Republican Party over the socialist agenda of the Democrat Party. This is why Republicans continue to hold super majorities in this State. It is about the values we hold, and has nothing to do with race.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL