A court-approved Alabama congressional map could give Democrats a second seat in the traditionally red state.
A three-judge panel approved a map that both spared the state's traditional Black-majority district and added a second district that includes a large percentage of Black voters in the state.
Alabama Democrats likely to flip seat under court-approved congressional map pic.twitter.com/yNclYserHx
— Diane Johnson (@johnson_di58001) October 6, 2023
"The decision came after the court found - for the second time - that congressional lines drawn by the Republican-dominated state legislature likely violated the Voting Rights Act by illegally diluting Black votes," Reuters reported.
"Democrats would need to flip five seats in the 435-seat House of Representatives to take back the majority in the November 2024 election," it added.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 6, 2023
“In the light of the submissions received by the Special Master, the comments and submissions in response to his Report & Recommendation, and after extensive analysis, we conclude that Remedial Plan 3 completely remedies the likely Section Two violation we identified while best preserving the State’s legislative preferences," the panel wrote.
It added that "as expressed through the 2023 Plan, and otherwise complies with the requirements of the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965."
A three-judge federal court has picked the map Alabama will use for its congressional elections next year, one that will add a second district where Black residents make up close to half of the voting age population.
— AL.com (@aldotcom) October 5, 2023
“Today, we celebrate a victory for voting rights for all Alabamians,” Sen. Merika Coleman, D-Pleasant Grove, said, according to AL.com.
“For two years, we have fought vigorously to end racial gerrymandering in Alabama and we are pleased with this landmark decision. Not only will this positively affect Alabama, but it will also help remedy the racial gerrymandering that is occurring throughout our nation. Fair maps ensure that no matter what your race, ethnicity, or political leaning- that your vote counts," she added.
Attorney General Steve Marshall and Solicitor General Edmund LaCour opposed the map and claimed that the move toward the new court-approved version is unconstitutional.
The new map is set for the 2024 election but Republican leaders in the state plan to continue their appeal in the case.
The new map allows a qualifying period until Nov. 10, with candidates now looking for a new win for Democrats in the state.