The Alabama Legislature will be further racially polarized by new district boundaries that pack more black voters into certain districts than the law requires, state black political groups told the Supreme Court last week. The justices agreed in June to hear the complaint from Alabama that the Republican majority went too far in using race to redistrict itself in 2012. The result, according to black Democratic legislators, is unusually high black majorities in districts surrounded by districts that are even more white. “The Constitution does not permit states to stumble into such excessively segregated election districts, whether through good faith or bad,” wrote lawyers for the Alabama Democratic Conference, one of the groups involved in the case.
The ADC and the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus filed their briefs with the justices on Wednesday. The Alabama Attorney General’s office, which is defending the new map, is scheduled to respond in October.
The case could be a significant test of how the Supreme Court, which recently struck down a piece of the Voting Rights Act, views the use of race in redistricting.
The black Alabama lawmakers, all of whom voted against the new map, argue that the state’s first GOP majority in 136 years wrongly focused solely on race in deciding where to draw new district lines. They also complain that the Republicans were unnecessarily strict in making sure each district had almost exactly equal population. The combination, they say, resulted in unconstitutional racial gerrymandering.
Full Article: Black groups tell Supreme Court Ala. districts biased.