NATIONAL NEWS

The Supreme Court will let Alabama’s congressional map be redrawn to better represent Black voters

Sep 26, 2023, 7:49 AM | Updated: 1:52 pm

FILE - The U.S. Supreme Court, June 8, 2020, in Washington. The Supreme Court is allowing work to p...

FILE - The U.S. Supreme Court, June 8, 2020, in Washington. The Supreme Court is allowing work to proceed on a new Alabama congressional map with greater representation for Black voters, rejecting the state’s plea to retain Republican-drawn lines struck down by a lower court. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the drawing of a new Alabama congressional map with greater representation for Black voters to proceed. The new districts also could help Democrats trying to flip control of the House of Representatives.

The justices, without any noted dissent, rejected the state’s plea to retain Republican-drawn lines that were turned down by a lower court.

In refusing to intervene, the high court allowed a court-appointed special master’s work to continue. On Monday, he submitted three proposals that would create a second congressional district where Black voters comprise a majority of the voting age population or close to it.

The redrawing of the state’s districts follows a June decision by the Supreme Court in which the state’s congressional map that was drawn to reflect 2020 census results was found to dilute the voting power of the state’s Black residents. The map, which was used in the 2022 midterm elections, had just one majority Black district out of seven seats in a state where Black residents make up more than a quarter of the population.

A second district with a Democratic-leaning Black majority could send another Democrat to Congress at a time when Republicans hold a razor-thin majority in the House of Representatives. Federal lawsuits over state and congressional districts also are pending in Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

Stark racial divisions characterize voting in Alabama. Black voters overwhelmingly favor Democratic candidates, and white voters prefer Republicans.

The lead plaintiff in the redistricting case, Evan Milligan, called Tuesday’s ruling a “victory for all Alabamians” and said it puts the state closer to a map that provides fair representation. “It’s definitely a really positive step,” Milligan said in a telephone interview.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office did not immediately comment on the decision.

A three-judge panel has scheduled a hearing next week on proposed plans submitted by Richard Allen, the lawyer appointed by the judges. Allen’s three proposals would alter the boundaries of Congressional District 2 so that Black voters comprise between 48.5% and 50.1% of the voting-age population, a shift that could put the seat in Democratic hands.

By contrast, the district drafted by GOP lawmakers and unanimously rejected by the three judges had a Black voting-age population of 39.9%, meaning it would continue to elect mostly white Republicans, according to data simulations run by those challenging the Republican plan.

The judges said Alabama lawmakers deliberately defied their directive to create a second district where Black voters could influence or determine the outcome.

Milligan and other Black voters had argued Alabama’s rearranged congressional map still meant that candidates preferred by Black voters had no chance of winning outside a single congressional district, now represented by Rep. Terri Sewell, the only Democrat and the only Black member of Alabama’s congressional delegation.

“It basically said if you were Black in Alabama, your vote would count for less,” Milligan said. “It was our duty and honor to challenge that.”

The state had wanted to use the newly drawn districts while it appeals the lower-court ruling to the Supreme Court.

Though Alabama lost its case in June by a 5-4 vote, the state leaned heavily on its hope of persuading one member of that slim majority, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, to essentially switch his vote.

The state’s court filing repeatedly cited a separate opinion Kavanaugh wrote in June that suggested he could be open to the state’s arguments in the right case. Kavanaugh, borrowing from Justice Clarence Thomas’ dissenting opinion, wrote that even if race-based redistricting was allowed under the Voting Rights Act for a period of time, “the authority to conduct race-based redistricting cannot extend indefinitely into the future.”

___

Associated Press writer Kim Chandler contributed to this report from Montgomery, Ala.

 

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Apple's "By the Seaside" is perhaps one of the company's most controversial tunes, drawing the ire ...

Krystal Hur, CNN

Hate Apple’s ‘By the Seaside’ alarm tune? You’re not alone

Critics of the common alarm "By the Seaside" sound on Apple iPhones are speaking out.

2 hours ago

FILE: Two crop dusting airplanes collided near an airport in southern Idaho on Thursday, June 20, 2...

Associated Press

2 crop dusting airplanes collided in southern Idaho, killing 1 pilot and severely injuring the other

Two crop dusting airplanes collided near an airport in southern Idaho on Thursday and crashed to the ground, killing one of the pilots and leaving the other with life-threatening injuries, officials said.

18 hours ago

A SkyWest Airlines jet approaches Salt Lake International Airport on Sept. 24, 2022. SkyWest announ...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Flights between St. George and Los Angeles to resume after 4-year delay

St. George-based SkyWest Airlines announced this week that daily flights between St. George Regional Airport and Los Angeles International Airport will return this fall, through United Express, one of SkyWest's different airline service partners.

23 hours ago

The Supreme Court decided Friday to uphold a federal gun control law that is meant to protect victi...

Brian Carlson

Supreme Court upholds gun law intended to protect domestic violence victims

The Supreme Court decided Friday to uphold a federal gun control law that is meant to protect victims of domestic violence. The law prevents people with a domestic violence restraining order from having a gun.

2 days ago

Recount observers watch ballots during a Milwaukee hand recount of Presidential votes at the Wiscon...

Ken Ritter, Associated Press

Fake elector case in Nevada dismissed over venue question, state attorney general vows appeal

A Nevada judge has dismissed a criminal indictment against six Republicans accused of submitting certificates to Congress falsely declaring Donald Trump the winner of the state’s 2020 presidential election.

2 days ago

The bodies of two men, including a U.S. Air Force colonel who served as director of operations for ...

Associated Press

Bodies of Air Force colonel and Utah man are recovered after their plane crashed in an Alaska lake

The bodies of two men, including a U.S. Air Force colonel who served as director of operations for the Alaskan Command, have been recovered after their small plane plunged into an Alaska lake.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

The Supreme Court will let Alabama’s congressional map be redrawn to better represent Black voters