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Republicans in Alabama have rejected instructions from the U.S. Supreme Court to redraw congressional districts and create a second majority-Black district in the state.  

Instead, Alabama lawmakers proposed a redistricting map that would increase the percentage of Black voters in the 2nd Congressional District from about 30% to nearly 42.5%, testing the court’s directive of creating an entirely new district.  

The Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment voted to approve the new map 14-6, calling it the “Community of Interest Map.” It’s worth noting that the vote fell along party lines. 

According to Politico, the proposed map will be introduced as legislation Monday afternoon as lawmakers convene a special session to adopt a new map by a Friday deadline set by the three-judge panel.

In 2022, Alabama lower courts ruled that the state needed another majority-Black congressional district or something “close to it,” giving Black voters a fair chance to “elect a representative of their choice.”

In June, the Supreme Court ruled that Alabama’s congressional map violated the Voting Rights Act and that the state would have to draw a new map, adding a second majority-minority district before the 2024 election. 

Republicans believe this new map will satisfy the court, but others don’t see the map making it through a second round of appeals.

House Speaker Pro Tempore Chris Pringle told Politico that this new map will give Black voters a greater opportunity to elect their preferred candidates.

“We took in consideration what the court asked us to do which was to provide an opportunity district that complied with Section 2 (of the Voting Rights Act,)” Pringle told the publication.

Democrats and organizations who agreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling called the proposed map “shameful,” promising it would be challenged by appeal.

“It is clear that Alabama Republicans are not serious about doing their job and passing a compliant map, even in light of a landmark Supreme Court decision,” said Marina Jenkins, executive director of the National Redistricting Foundation.

Jenkins also called out the state’s history of never doing the right thing when it came to Black residents, telling Politico the “predominately white and Republican legislature has never done the right thing on its own, but rather has had to be forced to do so by a court.”

Democratic representative from Tuscaloosa, Chris England, called out Republicans for pushing through their proposed map without seeking input from the public.

“The map that we adopted, nobody had any input on. There was no public input on it, not subject to a public hearing and now it’s going to be the map of choice,” England said.

According to DataUSA, Black residents makeup 26% of Alabama’s population but only make up 12% of the U.S. population. 


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