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Federal judges issue final map to Alabama

A federal court has picked a new congressional map to go into effect for the 2024 elections. 

A three-judge panel made their selection from maps proposed by an appointed Special Master after ruling last month that the maps authorized by the Alabama Legislature did not meet the standards of the Voting Rights Act. 

With an initial mandate by the U.S. Supreme Court to create two majority Black congressional districts “or something close to it” – the final compositions decided on by the court today yield a 48.7% Black voting age population in the Second Congressional District and 51.9% in the Seventh Congressional District. 

RELATED: Special master submits 3 redistricting plans

“In the plainest terms, we have no doubt that the facts and the law support the entry of this preliminary injunction,” the federal judges wrote in their ruling. “Accordingly, the Alabama Secretary of State is ORDERED to administer Alabama’s upcoming congressional elections according to the Special Master’s remedial plan 3.”

Secretary of State Wes Allen said he’ll do that as the “legal portion” of the process continues.

“The Office of the Secretary of State will facilitate the 2024 election cycle in accordance with the map the federal court has forced upon Alabama and forced and ordered us to use,” Allen said in a statement. “It is important for all Alabamians to know the legal portion of this process has not yet been completed.

“A full hearing on the redistricting issue will take place in the future and I trust Attorney General Marshall to represent Alabama through that process. In the meantime, I will keep our state’s elections safe, secure and transparent because that is what I was elected to do.”

Alabama Democrats strongly support the map, saying it gives greater electoral power to Black voters. 

RELATED: What’s next for Alabama’s delegation after redistricting?

“This is a tremendous win for Alabama voters and, as my colleagues have said all along, fair elections must begin with fair maps,” Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels said in a statement after the ruling.

The Alabama Republican Party says, while they have the utmost respect for the legal process, they’re disappointed by the decision. ALGOP Chairman John Wahl has previously said they have the resources and party infrastructure to remain competitive in any district.

Of the three maps, the Court chose the map that is the most Democratic – not the map with the highest minority voting age population. We are hopeful Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall will continue with the appeal process, ALGOP’s statement read.

We believe Alabama’s Congressional Districts should represent the communities of our state, and not be based on the liberal Democrat agenda or the color of people’s skin.

Grayson Everett is the state and political editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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