It looks like the U.S. Supreme Court will once again weigh in on Alabama’s efforts at redistricting.
According to The Associated Press, the court will soon rule on whether the state can keep its new congressional lines drawn by the Legislature during the special session while it continues fighting a three-judge panel’s plan to create an entirely new map.
The Legislature was required to make the new map during the special session in response to a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court that upheld the lower court’s finding that their 2021 map violated the Voting Rights Act.
While the Legislature boosted the percentage of Black representation in the 2nd District from about 30% to almost 40% from their 2021 map, the three-judge panel ruled that it still went against the court’s wishes.
“There is too much at stake. The government is supposed to represent the people. Yet we are being robbed of representation at the highest level,” Evan Milligan, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, said Thursday.
Currently, a special master has been assigned to create a new map that creates a better “opportunity district” for Black voters. Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen requested a stay on the redrawing process as the state appeals.
“I think the deadline is September the 25th for the special master to submit the maps for the three-judge panel in Birmingham,” Allen said Thursday on WVNN. “Then I think, if they need it, there may be a hearing on October the 3rd. So that’s kind of what we’re waiting on now, just waiting on the next move by the courts.”
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said the Supreme Court didn’t require the state to create a second majority-minority district, which means the Legislature’s new map should be allowed to remain in place.
“The 2023 map cures those defects, but because it doesn’t guarantee a second safe seat for Democrats, Plaintiffs now demand racial discrimination,” Marshall said. “The VRA does not require this sort of racial sorting of voters, and the Constitution does not allow it.”