Sep 26, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court rejects Alabama GOP's redistricting appeal

U.S. Supreme Court building

The Supreme Court of the United States building in Washington D.C. on Sept. 24. Photo: Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Alabama Republicans' request to block the redrawing of the state's congressional districts by a special master.

Driving the news: The Alabama GOP asked SCOTUS to consider an emergency request blocking a lower court's determination that the state's legislature had failed to comply with the Voting Rights Act while drawing congressional districts.

  • The Voting Right Act requires that minority voters are provided with "an equal opportunity to participate in the political process."

Catch up quick: Alabama's Republican-led legislature refused to redraw the state's congressional map in a manner that gave Black voters increased voting power, thus requiring a three-judge panel to intervene in the process.

  • "The law requires the creation of an additional district that affords Black Alabamians, like everyone else, a fair and reasonable opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. The 2023 Plan plainly fails to do so," the panel stated in an opinion rejecting the new map.
  • The Supreme Court ruled in June that Black residents of Alabama were illegally underrepresented in Congress after a lawsuit challenging the state's 2021 redistricting map.
  • Alabama's GOP lawmakers submitted a map in July that was not significantly different from the existing Congressional map; six of the seven districts had Black populations of 43 percent or less.

What they're saying: Black lawmakers and voting rights activists celebrated the latest SCOTUS ruling.

  • "Another big win for Alabama's Black voters," said Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), the state's only Black lawmaker in Congress.
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