Alabama Democrats last week filed their proposals to redraw the state’s House and Senate district maps to address a January court ruling that struck down 12 legislative districts due to improper use of race in their construction. “This is the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus’ proposal,” said Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, the sponsor of the House bill, whose district was one of the 12 ruled unconstitutional. “If they’ve got better ideas, different ideas, let’s start the process of drawing constitutional districts.” The proposed map redraws “a majority” of the House’s 105 districts, Knight said. Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, co-chair of the Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment, said Monday the committee might look at drawing more districts.
Dial cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Bethune-Hill v. Virginia, which ordered a court to reconsider a redistricting plan in that state, as a case that might require the Legislature to broaden its approach. “Our problem has been the direction on reapportionment is continually moving from when we first did the plan,” he said.
Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, who filed the Senate version of the plan, said Monday the Bethune-Hill decision reflected arguments made by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, who in January argued that more of Alabama’s legislative districts should have been ruled unconstitutional.
“The Virginia ruling from the Supreme Court is almost the minority report from Judge Thompson,” Smitherman said. “They basically made his opinion a majority ruling.”
Full Article: Dems file redistricting maps; no. of districts could grow.