The June ruling in the same case strengthened minority voting rights. The court refused Republican state officials’ emergency appeals to stop lower court judgments rejecting the new map in two identical cases. Lower court map adoption proceedings continue.
The Supreme Court’s June ruling that rejected the state’s first congressional district border effort maintained a key Voting Rights Act provision. The court did not explain the lack of dissent.
“Alabama’s open defiance of the Voting Rights Act stops today,” contested maps lawyer Abha Khanna stated.
She hoped the ruling would “prompt Alabama to rethink their dogged resistance to providing equal political opportunities to Black Alabamians.”
Republican Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said Tuesday that both maps should have been kept.
“Republican supermajorities’ plans failed. Do not treat voters individually. He proposed reducing elected officials and voters to skin color.
The state reconsidered after the Supreme Court’s ruling. The same method as before allows Black voters to pick a candidate in one district. Alabama has 7 congressional districts with 27% Blacks.
The Supreme Court’s June decree required an additional minority-Black district after two lower court rulings rejected the amended plan.
One court ruling stated, “We are unaware of any other case in which a state legislature responded to a federal court order declaring that its electoral plan unlawfully dilutes minority votes and requiring an additional opportunity district with a plan that the state concedes does not provide that district
Black people in the state vote Democratic, thus a second majority-Black district might help Democrats win the House next year. State’s congressional delegation contains six Republicans and one Democrat.
Two lawsuits combined over the Republican-controlled Legislature’s 2020 census congressional district map. Individuals and the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP challenged the map, saying it discriminated against Black voters under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
Lower courts have regularly ruled that plaintiffs proved Alabama’s Black population was large and compact enough for a second majority-Black district under present law.
John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh joined three liberal justices on the Supreme Court in June.
In a separate decision, Kavanaugh said his vote did not exclude Section 2 challenges over whether the 1965 law’s race-based redistricting is unjustified.
Marshall stopped lower court judgments with Kavanaugh’s views.
He also noted the court’s June decision to bar race in college admissions as proof that standard racial discrimination remedies no longer apply.
The challengers’ attorneys filed court documents alleging that the state had not designed a second majority-Black district, as required by law.
The state “is not entitled… to implement a congressional map that openly defies the clear rulings of the district court and this court,” they stated.