A federal court on Monday shot down Alabama’s newly proposed Congressional district map over concerns it underrepresents minority voters, WBRC reports.
The three-judge panel sided unanimously with plaintiffs in redistricting lawsuits by ruling that they’re likely to prove “Black voters have less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress.” As it currently stands, the newly-drawn map likely violates a section of the Voting Rights Act, the court stated.
Evan Milligan, a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits, argued the proposed congressional map “fails Alabama’s voters of color,” according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama.
Milligan added, “We deserve to be heard in our electoral process, rather than have our votes diluted using a map that purposefully cracks and packs Black communities.”
The federal judges have given the state two weeks to draw up another map that “will need to include two districts in which Black voters either comprise a voting-age majority or something quite close to it.”
If the state legislature doesn’t meet the Feb. 11 deadline to provide a new map proposal, the court will provide “an eminently qualified expert” to do so.
Alabama’s Attorney General reportedly says he plans to appeal the court’s decision, notes WBRC.