A three-judge federal panel Thursday dismissed a challenge to new district maps approved by the Alabama Legislature last spring. The judges unanimously ruled that plaintiffs who challenged three Jefferson County districts redrawn under the plan lacked standing to bring their challenge and had failed to provide a standard for the court to consider. A message seeking comment was sent Thursday evening to the Alabama attorney general’s office, which represented the state in the case. Attorney James Blacksher, who represented plaintiffs in the case, said Thursday evening the issue would likely come back after the next Census. “It leaves the question open for 2020,” he said.
The Republican-controlled Legislature in 2012 approved redistricting maps that black legislators said “packed and stacked” black voters, who tend to vote Democratic, into a handful of districts. That, they argued, made it hard for them to form alliances with like-minded white voters and muted their voices in the electoral process.
Republicans who drew the maps said they were trying to follow the then-operative provisions of the Voting Rights Act and to restore population in majority-minority districts, many of which lost population between 2000 and 2010.
Full Article: Court rejects Alabama redistricting challenge.