Federal Court Strikes Down Alabama GOP Redistricting Maps 

A federal court on Tuesday struck down redistricting maps signed into law by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) in July after the maps failed to create a second majority-black congressional district.

The ruling comes after a contentious court battle over Alabama’s redrawn congressional maps. The three-judge panel, composed of Clinton-appointed Judge Stanley Marcus and Trump-appointed Judges Anna Manasco and Terry Moorer, struck down Alabama’s redrawn maps in 2022, ruling it should have created two majority-black voting districts.

Currently, Alabama’s seventh congressional district is the only majority-black voting district in the state, despite Alabama’s 27 percent black population. That district is represented by the state’s lone Democrat, Rep. Terri Sewell.

In June, a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s ruling, ordering Alabama’s legislature to redraw the maps again to include a second majority-black district or “something quite close to it.”

Instead, Alabama’s legislature approved a new map that included one majority-black district and boosted the black voting share in a second district from 30 percent to 40.

The three judges were “deeply troubled” by the state’s lack of a second majority-black voting district in the latest maps.

“We have now said twice that this Voting Rights Act case is not close,” the judges wrote. “And we are deeply troubled that the State enacted a map that the State readily admits does not provide the remedy we said federal law requires.”

The judges appointed Richard Allen as the special master responsible for drawing three new proposed congressional maps by September 25.

“The law requires the creation of an additional district that affords Black Alabamians, like everyone else, a fair and reasonable opportunity to elect candidates of their choice,” they wrote, adding that Alabama’s new map “plainly fails to do so.”

Alabama Attorney General Steven Marshall said he is “disappointed” with the court’s decision and plans to appeal the decision up to the Supreme Court.

“While we are disappointed in today’s decision, we strongly believe that the Legislature’s map complies with the Voting Rights Act and the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court,” Marshall’s office said in a statement. “We intend to promptly seek review from the Supreme Court to ensure that the State can use its lawful congressional districts in 2024 and beyond.”

The judges dismissed Alabama’s argument that a court-ordered second majority-black district would unconstitutionally constitute “affirmative action in redistricting.”

“The Voting Rights Act does not provide a leg up for Black voters – it merely prevents them from being kept down with regard to what is arguably the most ‘fundamental political right,’ in that it is ‘preservative of all rights’ – the right to vote,” the judges asserted.

With the Republicans having a razor-thin majority in the House of Representatives, the battle over redistricting maps in states like Alabama, Georgia, and Florida could have a huge impact on which party controls the House in the 119th Congress.

Former Obama-era U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, praised the judge’s ruling as a “a significant step toward equal representation for Black Alabamians.”

The case is Milligan v. Allen, No. 2:21-cv-1291-AMM in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.


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