The US Supreme Court left in force a ruling that requires Alabama to have a second congressional district with a near-majority of Black voters, rejecting the state’s latest bid to reinstate a Republican-drawn map.
(Bloomberg) — The US Supreme Court left in force a ruling that requires Alabama to have a second congressional district with a near-majority of Black voters, rejecting the state’s latest bid to reinstate a Republican-drawn map.
The high court order, which came without comment or public dissent, reinforces the justices’ June 8 ruling against the state in the Voting Rights Act clash. The June ruling tossed out an earlier Republican map as discriminatory and upheld a three-judge federal court panel decision that required a second majority-Black district “or something quite close to it.”
Alabama argued that the Supreme Court ruling left room for the state to redraw its map without creating the second district. The lower court then struck down the new map as well.
The panel said it was “deeply troubled that the state enacted a map that the state readily admits does not provide the remedy we said federal law requires.”
The case was being closely watched in part because similar fights are being waged in Louisiana, Texas and Georgia in cases that could help determine control of the US House. Alabama’s request would have all but guaranteed the Republican-drawn map would be used for the 2024 election.
Democrats and civil rights activists say the Voting Rights Act requires Alabama to create a second district in which Black voters are numerous enough to elect the candidate of their choice. The state has seven US congressional seats and a 27% Black population.
Alabama asked the Supreme Court to block the lower court ruling while the state pursued an appeal. Under the procedures that govern some voting-rights disputes, cases are heard by a three-judge panel that includes both trial and appeals court judges, and the losing side can appeal directly to the Supreme Court.
The lead case is Allen v. Milligan, 23A231.
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