Racial Redistricting – Alabama GOP Rejects Second Black District

(USNewsMag.com) – On July 21, Republicans in Alabama passed a new congressional map that defies an order by the U.S. Supreme Court to include two majority-Black districts.

The Alabama Legislature called a special session on July 21 to redraw the congressional map, with the map completed just hours before the court-ordered deadline.

The revised map passed the Alabama State House with a 75-28 vote and the Alabama State Senate with a 24-6 vote. The redrawn map was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey.

In its June decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed a federal court order from 2022 that requires two districts that have voting-age majorities made up primarily of Black voters, “or something quite close to it,” be included in the new maps. However, the map approved on July 21 includes one majority Black district and a second district that is only 40 percent Black.

The original map had a second district that was 27 percent Black. The redrawn map was a compromise between the plans in the Alabama state House, which was 42 percent Black for the district, and the Alabama state Senate, which had a 38 percent Black resident rate for the district.

Democrats claim the redrawn map ignores the order from the Supreme Court. State Rep. Chris England, who represents Tuscaloosa, as well as other Democrats, argue that the redrawn congressional map was designed to bring another Voting Rights Act challenge.

Those who opposed the first map have stated they will challenge the new map. Objections to the new map under the current order are set to be submitted before an Aug. 14 hearing on the map. If the court agrees that the map does not fulfill the court order and is still considered racial gerrymandering, then it can implement maps drawn by outside experts.

The case is being watched as redistricting battles, which could determine the control of Congress, are ongoing in courts not only in Alabama but in North Carolina, New York, Texas, and Georgia.

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