Biden, others react as SCOTUS orders Alabama to redraw congressional districts

The Supreme Court says Alabama must draw a second majority Black district after a likely violation of the Voting Rights Act
The high court ordered Alabama to redraw its congressional map to create a second majority Black district.
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 12:43 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2023 at 6:36 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Reaction is coming in after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday that orders Alabama to redraw its congressional map to create a second majority Black district.

In a 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joining the court’s liberals, the Supreme Court affirming a lower court ruling that found a likely violation of the Voting Rights Act in the state’s recently drawn map.

The Legislature retained a single majority Black district in its 2021 drawing despite African Americans making up more than a quarter of the state’s population. During that redistricting special session, Alabama Democrats presented three different options for new maps, but none have two minority districts.

The finalized map was challenged in court as being racially gerrymandered. It was ultimately picked up by the nation’s highest court in early 2022, but justices stayed a lower court’s order that the map be immediately redrawn. That stay allowed for the map to be used to govern the 2022 elections while the case made its way through the court’s docket.

The judges ultimately found that spreading Black residents out among districts makes it much more difficult to elect more than one candidate of their choice. Instead, Alabama’s Black population is large enough and geographically compact enough to create a second district, the judges found.

The state argued that drawing a new map would force it to sort voters by race and insisted it was taking a “race neutral” approach to redistricting. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey was unavailable for comment Thursday as her office reviews the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Lawmakers will have to enter into another special session to redraw the map, which will be used in the 2024 elections.

Evan Milligan, who is named in the case Allen v. Milligan, called the ruling a win for democracy and freedom across the country.


Rep. Sewell, Alabama's only Democrat or African American in Congress, reacts as the Supreme Court orders new maps to make a second majority Black district.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed’s statement has been updated to remove a portion in which it appeared to indicate his father, Joe L. Reed, was a plaintiff in this particular case.

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