Alabama's Supreme Court has turned down the state's congressional map for a second time in recent weeks after it continues to include only one Black majority district.
The ruling follows a June Supreme Court decision that rejected the lines that heavily favored Republicans in the state.
BREAKING: Supreme Court rejects Alabama's bid to use a congressional map that includes only one majority-Black district. https://t.co/oB49Vg5shu
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 26, 2023
"Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, a Republican, doubled down on the state's approach, saying in a statement Tuesday that both maps the state has drawn should have been upheld," NBC News reported.
"It is now clear that none of the maps proposed by Republican supermajorities had any chance of success. Treating voters as individuals would not do. Instead, our elected representatives and our voters must apparently be reduced to skin color alone," he said.
The Supreme Court is refusing to stop judges from redrawing Alabama's congressional maps to better represent Black voters. The move could help Democrats' chances to flip control of the U.S. House. https://t.co/GRV8c4jCsS
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 26, 2023
"The redrawing of the state’s districts follows a June decision by the Supreme Court in which the state’s congressional map that was drawn to reflect 2020 census results was found to dilute the voting power of the state’s Black residents," the Associated Press reported.
"The map, which was used in the 2022 midterm elections, had just one majority Black district out of seven seats in a state where Black residents make up more than a quarter of the population," it continued.
Supreme court rejects Alabama’s plea and allows drawing of new congressional map https://t.co/zb7LIHN7Oo
— Guardian news (@guardiannews) September 26, 2023
“It has been a long and frustrating battle holding the Alabama legislature accountable, but today it is a rewarding one,” lawyers from a coalition of civil rights groups said in a joint statement.
“Even after the highest court in the land sided with Black voters in June, our elected officials still chose power over people by outright defying multiple court orders and the loud cries of their constituents to do the right thing," it added.
Three proposals have been suggested to create a second Black-majority district.
Alabama's change could have national consequences. The Republican's slim majority in the House would be threatened by just a few changes, including a potential loss of a seat in Alabama.
The court has made it clear that the map for the next election must include a second district favorable to Democrats but it will be the voters who show up who decide the outcome.