Plaintiffs Unveil Proposal For Doing Away With GOP Congressional Map That Impedes Black Voters

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Plaintiffs in a sprawling court case that challenges the Congressional redistricting undertaken in Alabama after the 2020 census have formally proposed their plan for the newest map of Congressional districts to implement as the face-off continues.

A three-judge panel in federal court recently ruled that ostensibly corrective action taken by Alabama Republicans after earlier court decisions against their first maps was flatly not enough. Despite judicial demands for a second Congressional district where Black voters comprised either a majority or something substantially close, Alabama state officials responded with a map where the district closest to meeting that requirement had the local Black community at about 40 percent of the voting population. They left Alabama’s Black residents with a single district where they could elect their candidate of choice as a community despite their large numbers across Alabama.

The previous stages of the dispute, before Alabama responded with the disputed map, saw litigants reach the U.S. Supreme Court, and the case could be headed back to those judges. The lower-level judges who heard the follow-up disputes over Alabama’s so-called corrections have tasked the redistricting process to a special master, meaning court-appointed third party, and this individual is accepting proposals for the state’s new map. Such provides the backdrop for the plan from plaintiffs. Alabama authorities appealed the three-judge panel’s decision against their maps, which emerged from a process the judicial panel characterized as unprecedented in its flaunting of the court system’s previous demands.

In Florida, there are also still active disputes around the state’s process of Congressional redistricting, with a judge having recently ruled against the plan originally implemented that essentially eliminated the northern Florida district as it stood that was represented by Democratic politician Al Lawson, who is Black. That dispute has not yet reached the stage where it’s sure the judge’s decision will be controlling, though. Both sides recently pushed for a quick decision on the matter by Florida’s Supreme Court.