Alabama Republicans on Friday defied a U.S. Supreme Court order by passing a new congressional map that includes only one majority-Black district.
The GOP-controlled Legislature had called a special session to redraw an earlier map after the Supreme Court reaffirmed a federal court order to include two districts where Black voters make up voting-age majorities, “or something quite close to it.” But on Friday, state Republicans approved a new map with just one majority-Black seat and a second district that is approximately 40% Black.
The map was completed Friday afternoon — hours before the court-ordered deadline for the Legislature to draw up new boundaries — as a compromise between the House and Senate versions.
Democrats slammed the map and its drafters, arguing that legislators ignored a court order and that the map continued the racist history of voter suppression.
“There was never any intent in this building to comply with their court order,” said state Rep. Chris England, a Democrat from Tuscaloosa. “There was never any intent in this building to comply with the Voting Rights Act.”
England and other Democrats argued the map was designed to bring another challenge to the Voting Rights Act.
“I’m ashamed of what we did here this week,” said state Rep. Juandalynn Givan, a Democrat from Birmingham. “We’ve chosen to outright, blatantly disobey the law and to further attempt and vote to bury the Voting Rights Act.”
The district lines are being closely watched by many in Washington, where redistricting battles playing out in the courts in Alabama, New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and other states could decide control of Congress. [Continue reading…]