On Monday, a panel of three federal judges overturned Alabama’s Congressional Map. They directed state lawmakers to create a new one with two districts, rather than just one, that will most likely elect Black representatives.
Alabama‘s Republican-dominated State Legislature selected one of the state’s seven congressional districts with a plurality of Black votes last month. The court found that with a Black population of 27 percent in Alabama, the state must designate two districts with a Black representative.
A Change In The Congressional Map Was Long Overdue
The decision will almost certainly be challenged, and the issue of whether politicians may create political maps to attain a certain racial composition, a practice known as racial gerrymandering, could be addressed by the United States Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court declared in 2019 that federal courts had no role to play in preventing political gerrymandering. The court did, however, uphold portions of the Voting Rights Act that bar racial or ethnic gerrymandering.
The Justices stated that if Alabama legislators do not draft and enact a new plan containing a second majority-Black district within 14 days, the court would appoint someone else to do it. That second congressional district would be a big legal and political win for Democrats, who would be overwhelming favorites to win it.
The Republican-drawn Congressional Map in Alabama is the second to be overturned by a court this month. The Ohio Supreme Court overturned a Republican-drawn map two weeks ago, giving the GOP a projected 12-to-3 lead in the state’s congressional delegation. North Carolina’s new congressional map is also embroiled in a legal fight, and many more states are expected to face legal action over their electoral maps.
Alabama has had a single majority-Black congressional district that has elected Black Democrats for three decades. Since 2011, the state’s other six districts have been represented solely by white Republicans.