Posted on February 8, 2022

Supreme Court Blocks Bid to Redraw Alabama Electoral Maps to Account For Racial Bias

Associated Press, February 7, 2022

The Supreme Court on Monday put on hold a lower court ruling that Alabama must draw new congressional districts before the 2022 elections to increase black voting power.

The high court order boosts Republican chances to hold six of the state’s seven seats in the House of Representatives.

The court’s action, by a 5-4 vote, means the upcoming elections will be conducted under a map drawn by Alabama’s Republican-controlled legislature that contains one majority-black district, represented by a black Democrat, in a state in which more than a quarter of the population is black.

A three-judge lower court, including two judges appointed by former President Donald Trump, had ruled that the state had likely violated the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting the political power of black voters by not creating a second district in which they made up a majority, or close to it.

Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito, part of the conservative majority, said the lower court’s order for a new map came too close to the 2022 election cycle.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined his three more liberal colleagues in dissent.

The justices will at some later date decide whether the map produced by the state violates the landmark voting rights law, a case that could call into question ‘decades of this Court’s precedent about Section 2 of the VRA,’ Justice Elena Kagan wrote in dissent.

That decision presumably will govern elections in 2024 through the end of the decade in Alabama and could affect minority political representation elsewhere in the country, too.

Alabama lawmakers redrew the state’s congressional districts following the results of the 2020 census.


{snip} The state argued that it drew the new map guided by race-neutral principles and that the new map is similar to past maps.

More than a dozen mostly Republican-led states had filed a brief urging the justices to side with Alabama and allow it to use the maps it originally drew.

Deuel Ross, a lawyer for Alabamians who sued, called the state’s congressional districts ‘a textbook case of a Voting Rights Act violation’ and said the high court’s decision to intervene is disheartening.


Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall called the order a victory for the state and said he believes the state will ‘ultimately prevail’ in the ongoing litigation.

Marshall´s office argued the state´s congressional districts are similar to those in use, and approved by the courts, since the 1990s.