The former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is blasting Alabama’s new congressional map for not having two majority black districts.
Gov. Kay Ivey signed off on the new map after both chambers of the Alabama legislature agreed on it last week during the special session.
“The Legislature knows our state,” Ivey said, “our people and our districts better than the federal courts or activist groups, and I am pleased that they answered the call, remained focused and produced new districts ahead of the court deadline.”
U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) discussed the redistricting effort Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“It’s ridiculous,” Pelosi said. “That is so completely totally ridiculous. I have a great deal of respect for Eric Holder, who’s the head of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. He’s not a partisan. He’s just saying let’s have an objective redistricting.”
Under the approved map, Congressional District 7, currently represented by U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), would be composed of a majority-Black population at 50.65%, while U.S. Rep. Barry Moore’s (R-Enterprise) Congressional District 2 would stand at 39.99%.
Pelosi blasted what Alabama Republicans tried to do to Sewell’s district.
“Terri Sewell, our member of Congress from the area,” she said, “in the district they drew earlier in the week, they took her out of Selma, they took her out of Montgomery, she’s an iconic figure there, and of course John Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr., and took her out of that.
“So something is wrong with that picture.”
The former Speaker said this is just more evidence of racism playing a role in the current political process.
“You see the racism that is happening in our country,” she said. “They had an article in the paper this morning about a black man who was elected mayor of a southern town and the whites said you can’t serve. So it’s getting to be pretty blatant. Maybe they intend to take this back up to the Supreme Court, but they cannot.”
Pelosi believes why it’s time for Congress to pass some real reforms on the issue.
“And that’s why we have to pass the Voting Rights Act,” she said. “When I was not even Speaker, when I was leader, we wrote it in our office with the Republicans in a bipartisan way the Voting Rights Act. Frist, the leader in the Senate, and I walked down the steps in the House. We had 400-and-something votes and was unanimous in the Senate.
“What has happened to the Republican Party that they’ve taken in to this?”