As the latest round of post-census redistricting rolls onward, another court challenge against Republican manipulations of the process has been unveiled. A federal lawsuit has been filed challenging a new Congressional district map that was recently passed in Alabama, which leaves Black voters in the state with only a single district where they’re in the majority, despite the fact that they make up over a fourth of the entire state’s population. (Alabama has seven Congressional districts overall.)
🚨BREAKING: On behalf of a group of Black voters, today my team filed a lawsuit challenging Alabama's congressional map for violating Section 2 of the VRA. The National Redistricting Foundation is sponsoring this very important case.https://t.co/FPfXeKhdUQ
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 4, 2021
As explained by the voting rights organization Democracy Docket, the newly filed lawsuit ‘argues that the new map intentionally dilutes the voting strength of Black Alabamians by only creating one majority Black district when a second one could also be drawn in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits any law that is intended to or results in the “denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”’
Gerrymandering — meaning a political takeover of the redistricting process involving shaping the lines to meet certain ends — undercuts the basic functioning of democracy, which is supposed to represent the interests of people across the population. The lawsuit “asks the court to declare the recently-passed map invalid and order the creation of a new map that includes a second majority-minority congressional district,” as Democracy Docket explains.
Similar issues have cropped up in GOP-backed Congressional maps elsewhere. For instance, North Carolina Republicans have enacted a map that puts the GOP in effective control of over 70 percent of the state’s House seats, although Trump obtained less than 50 percent of the vote there in 2020, which calls how accurately that the map reflects the population into serious question. In Texas, meanwhile, Republican leaders gave white voters control of two new Congressional districts in the state, despite the fact that the reason for adding those districts was population growth that was overwhelmingly attributable to non-white residents. Texas Republicans also lowered by one the number of districts where Hispanic voters are in the majority, and they did the same to Black voters — leaving Black Texas voters without a single U.S. House district where they’re in the majority.