Alabama’s GOP-dominated legislature redrew legislative maps Friday under court order to fix racial gerrymandering, punctuating a session rife with racial turmoil over issues such as the protection of Confederate monuments and an email that compared lawmakers to monkeys. The Senate on Friday approved new district maps and sent them to the governor despite objections from black Democrats who said the new ones are still gerrymandered to maintain white GOP dominance in the conservative state. In January, a three-judge panel in January ordered legislators to redraw lines before the 2018 elections, saying Republicans had improperly made race the predominant factor in drawing 12 of 140 legislative districts.
The redistricting approval was part of session peppered with tensions on issues such as a bill to protect Confederate monuments and Republicans use of cloture to force votes.
GOP legislative leaders said they’re confident they’ve addressed problems found by the federal courts and that the new maps would comply with other redistricting decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court.