Sewell disappointed with Alabama congressional maps, hopeful for positive rework

Redistricting Alabama
Alabama state Sen. Rodger Smitherman discusses a redistricting proposal during debate at the Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. Alabama lawmakers face a Friday, July 21, deadline to draw new congressional lines after the U.S. Supreme Court in June upheld a finding that the current state map — with one majority-Black district out of seven in a state that is 27% Black — likely violates the federal Voting Rights Act. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Kennedy Payne

Once again, Republican lawmakers failed to create a second majority-Black district in Alabama. On Tuesday, federal court judges expressed serious concern about the state’s inability to draw its own map.

According to the judges, it would be “practically impossible” to fix the map ahead of the 2024 election cycle. So instead, the court took the responsibility out of the Republicans hands and put it into the hands of a special master and cartographer.

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, who represents much of West Alabama, expressed her disappointment on Tuesday.

“From the very beginning we knew that this map did not comply with the Supreme Court’s order,” Sewell said. “In fact, I believe it is a great insult to Alabama voters across the state that our state legislature didn’t even try to meet the Supreme Court’s demands.”

Alabama’s congressional map must be redrawn by October to be ready to use for 2024 presidential election.

Sewell released the following statement Tuesday:

“Today’s decision is yet another victory for Black voters in Alabama and for the promise of fair representation. By appointing a special master to fairly redraw Alabama’s congressional map, the court has rejected the state legislature’s latest attempt to dilute the voices and voting power of African Americans all across our state. While we were outraged by the Alabama State Legislature’s open defiance of the Supreme Court’s original order to create two majority-minority districts, I am nonetheless grateful that a federal court has now intervened to protect the voices of Alabama’s Black voters.”

Alabama’s GOP released a statement Tuesday regarding the Allen v Milligan redistricting case.

“While we respect the Court, we are disappointed in its decision, and we trust that the State will ultimately prevail in this litigation.”

Categories: Alabama News, Local News