Supreme Court will review Alabama's redrawn voting maps
June 2nd, 2014
02:53 PM ET
2 months ago

Supreme Court will review Alabama's redrawn voting maps

(CNN) – A challenge to Alabama's Republican-drawn legislative maps, which some civil rights and political groups say amounts to an unconstitutional racial quota and gerrymandering, will be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

The justices announced Monday they would decide whether the redrawn boundaries crowded African-American voters into fewer black-majority districts, reducing their political clout in a state where they make up an estimated 27 percent of the population.

Oral arguments would be held in the fall.

The high court's move to intervene will not affect Tuesday's scheduled primaries in Alabama, which will use the redrawn boundaries.

But the map's opponents could ask that it not be implemented for the November general election, at least until the Supreme Court rules, which may not happen for another year.

A special panel of federal judges had allowed the legislative lines to go into effect, saying it did not violate federal law or the Constitution.

All states had to realign their voting districts following the 2010 U.S. Census to reflect population shifts.

The new numbers spell out congressional reapportionment as the states divvy up the 435 seats in the House.

In that census, Republicans nationally dominated the redistricting game because they controlled the entities, mostly state legislatures in charge of drawing new districts.

Redistricting in other states has also led to court challenges.

Alabama is in flux with its white population declining from about 71 percent in 2000 to an estimated 67 percent in 2011.

The Hispanic population is also increasing, while the African-American population has remained relatively stable statewide, although the Birmingham, Montgomery, and Huntsville areas saw some growth.

The redrawn map was attacked by state Democrats and civil rights leaders as "very particular and striking," they said in their appeal to the high court.

But the Republican majority said the Justice Department had reviewed the new map and allowed it to go into effect. They said the 2010 census revealed the older voting maps were badly apportioned.

In a separate ruling last June, the conservative majority on the high court sharply diluted the power of the federal government to maintain oversight over voting procedures in states with a history of voting discrimination, including Alabama.

That case involved pre-approving voting changes in Shelby County, outside Birmingham.

Some civil rights activists say that decision would embolden certain states to carry out ballot procedures aimed at disenfranchising minority voters. Many Republicans reject such suggestions.

The current cases are Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama (13-1138) and Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama (13-895).


Filed under: Alabama • Redistricting • Supreme Court
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. S. B. Stein

    Why would they dramatically change how the districts are structured? That has to be the fundamental question.

    June 2, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "we'll back to living like the 1850's before you know it."

    Based on current affairs in our American blogosphere, I'm surprised we ever made it out of 1850's policy making. This need to bring us back to 1850 restrictions is an interesting facet of GOPerville rhetoric. I suspect they've finally realized they're blowing smoke ... thus their inner logic is becoming severely challenged by their own false sense of self made superiority.

    June 2, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Silence DoGood

    @Sniffit
    "Wow... 27% black now huh? Is that why the state needs so much federal money? How many are tax payers, not government check takers?"

    That's right...wear your racism like a badge of honor. Please proceed. Man am I glad that I'm young enough that I'll likely see and be part of the GOP/Teatrolls' demographic Armageddon.
    -----------
    Good call Sniffit.
    And the GOP wonders why they have trouble attracting the non-white vote.

    June 2, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    They're not just blowing smoke Lynda. If they could they would take us back there in a heartbeat. How dare the Amurikkkan people elect one of them.... TWICE!?!?

    Maybe I should have said one of us...😳😳😳

    June 2, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Supreme Court will review Alabama's redrawn voting maps"

    And the best part: if they get overturned for what is no doubt a deliberate attempt to dilute and suppress the growing voting power of the growing minority population share, CNN will have a Ticker article and imbecile pundit bobbleheads on their shows acting all surprised and shocked and "who'd a thunk it?" and "oh my goodness, nobody could possibly have seen this coming" and "this just has to be an isolated incident because it's simply unfathomable that the GOP/Teatrolls could really be engaged in something like this in a widespread manner." LOL. It's going to be ridiculous.

    June 2, 2014 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. Bill from GA

    Donna – " Thank you for finally admitting that minorities vote based on race. "

    So you think you can write my comment for me?

    I never said they vote based on race. My area has had long lines for many Presidential elections, The lines were long when Bush and Clinton won. I might imply that in my district, the voters do not recognize the importance of voting for Congress or a governor.

    You righties are so used to making it up, you can't even tell the difference anymore.

    June 2, 2014 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    GOP is gone to dogs, I bet even whites do not trust the garbage of republican rant. Hillary16.

    June 2, 2014 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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