Alabama lawmakers meet over Congressional maps

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By WVUA 23 News Reporter Peyton Newman

Alabama lawmakers met for a court hearing Monday over the constitutionality of the newly redrawn Congressional maps. 

The Supreme Court ordered Alabama lawmakers to redraw congressional maps after ruling that the current map violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and undermined the voices of Black voters in Alabama.

A panel of three federal judges are overseeing the hearing and will accept both evidence and information until Saturday. A date for an official decision from the judges is unknown. 

State Representative Chris England, who represents District 70, in Tuscaloosa County believes the state has a strategy for defending the map and how federal judges will respond to it. 

“Instead of complying with the court order, they intentionally defied it and basically dared the court to do something,” England said. “And I believe that ultimately the court will end up drawing, appointing a special master to draw the map. And I think the state’s plan is to take it to the Supreme Court and continue arguing the failed arguments that they’ve been reiterating over and over and over again.” 

The court order explicitly stated that Alabama lawmakers needed to construct a map containing two majority-minority districts for Black voters as opposed to just the current one district. The newly proposed map does not fit these requirements. 

Representative England said the state’s current defense includes the idea that constructing congressional districts based on race is unconstitutional, despite the Supreme Court ruling otherwise. England adds that a ruling in favor of the new maps could undermine the integrity of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act nationally. Section 2 prohibits the act of voting discrimination towards any minority stated in earlier sections of the act. 

“Because, Alabama’s argument essentially undermines the foundation upon which Section 2 was built upon,” England said. “And you know, ultimately many cases across the country are waiting on the outcome of the Milligan case to determine what to do next.” 

England emphasizes the fact that this case is monumental and any decision made will have “domino effect” implications across the nation.

 

-kn

Categories: Alabama News, Local News