The state argues that this year’s Supreme Court decision does not require it to draw a new majority-Black district in the state and that the new map avoids separating Black and white communities.
Alabama’s new map follows “traditional” redistricting principles such as keeping districts compact and avoiding county or other community divisions, the state brief said. The state argued that drawing a new majority-Black district, as challengers to the map argued, would mean “cracking” communities like the rural Wiregrass in the southeastern part of the state.
With a tight margin in the House, experts say changing cases in states like Alabama will help determine control of the chamber in next year’s election.
The challenge heading into Monday’s hearing spans about two years, from when challengers first objected to the state’s drawn-out map after the 2020 election. Last year, the same panel of three federal judges for Monday’s hearing ruled that the map was likely biased against Black voters in the state.
The Supreme Court allowed the state to use the map in last year’s midterms while allowing the case to play out. Ultimately, the Supreme Court in June upheld the original three-judge court’s finding that the map violated the Voting Rights Act and ordered the Legislature to draw a new one.