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Federal court blocks Alabama's new congressional map, orders lines redrawn

The Alabama Legislature redrew the map over the summer after the Supreme Court found the original map likely violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act.

Published: September 5, 2023 10:32am

A federal court on Tuesday blocked Alabama's newly drawn congressional map after lawmakers refused to make a new map with a second majority-black district. 

The Alabama Legislature quickly redrew the map over the summer after the Supreme Court in June upheld a lower court's finding that the map, which only had one majority-black district out of seven even though 27% of Alabama residents are black, likely violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act.

The new map passed in July maintained a single majority-black district district and in another district, it increased the percentage of black voters from about 40% to almost 40%, according to The Associated Press.

"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 — responded with a plan that the state concedes does not provide that district," the three-judge panel wrote in its decision Tuesday. 

"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 judges also wrote.

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