A federal court on Tuesday rejected Alabama’s new congressional map on the grounds that state lawmakers did not comply with the mandate to create a second majority-Black district.
The U.S. Supreme Court in June upheld a lower court’s determination that the first map likely violated the Voting Rights Act. It featured only one majority-Black district out of seven in the state, and the high court noted that Alabama is 27% Black.
A new map approved by lawmakers in July boosted a second district from roughly 30% Black to nearly 40%.
Court throws out Alabama GOP congressional map for violating Voting Rights Act https://t.co/VfcQOfIxui
— POLITICO (@politico) September 5, 2023
The three-judge panel blocked the latest offering from the Alabama legislature in a scathing rebuke.
They wrote, “We are not aware of any other case in which a state legislature — faced with a federal court order declaring that its electoral plan unlawfully dilutes minority votes and requiring a plan that provides an additional opportunity district — …does not provide that district.”
The judges added that everyone in the state should have “a fair and reasonable opportunity” to elect their chosen candidates.
The federal court is demanding yet more gerrymandering. This is the process in which outlandishly bizarre districts are formed on state maps to virtually ensure that candidates of a certain stripe are elected.
The truth is that this practice has been going on for decades, but it was largely undisputed when it was done by Democrats.
For many years before the Republican revolutions of Nixon and particularly Reagan transformed the South into a GOP stronghold, gerrymandering was a common practice.
Districts were drawn by Democratic leaders that pulled people together who didn’t even have geography in common. Some lines would follow roads to skirt unwanted neighborhoods and connect far-flung voting blocs — nearly always Democrats — together.
In this way, the party ensured that it would always have maximum representation and the Republican vote would be suppressed.
That changed, however, when the GOP was swept into power as the party of the conservative majority. Suddenly gerrymandering became an evil term and a practice that must be eradicated.
The Alabama map is an issue for the courts to decide. But for Democrats to act as though the sky is falling because a congressional map may favor one party over another is the height of hypocrisy.