SCOTUS Shoots Down Redistricting Efforts in Alabama

( – Republican-led efforts to redraw the district lines in the state of Alabama were shot down as illegal by the Supreme Court on Thursday, September 21st. The decision marked the end of an epic legal drama over the district lines in which plaintiffs argued discriminated against black voters.

The Supreme Court denied Republican efforts to redraw the lines themselves, suggesting that their attempt wasn’t sufficient to meet previous rulings. It instead will appoint an expert to draw the lines for the next election cycle.

In June, the SCOTUS struck down the map, saying that it was diluting the impact of black voters. Republicans refused to allow more than one black-majority district. The current black majority district sends Alabama’s only Democrat to the House, suggesting a political motive.

The court denied the state’s request to reexamine the issue. The suit was originally brought by a group of black Alabamans who sued the state over their concerns.

The ruling will help Democrats with retaking the house in the next election if it admits another black majority district as anticipated. The final map will be submitted to the court by the official they chose to draw it in the next few days.

In February 2022, Alabama won the battle to use the map for the election that year in a 5-4 decision from the high court. At the time, Justice Brett Kavanaugh voted to use the map citing a legal doctrine that maintains federal courts shouldn’t mess with state election laws shortly before one’s going to be held. He switched his vote months later during the final decision-making process, saying that the map violated the Voting Rights Act.

Republicans were then asked to redraw it to include at least two districts with a black majority. The map they generated still only had one, causing the court to appoint an independent party to draw the map for the next cycle.