What the historic Supreme Court decision means for voting districts in Alabama

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 11:06 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The latest Supreme Court decision could impact you at the polls. In a five to four majority, the Supreme Court justices deciding the state’s congressional maps likely discriminated against black voters.

Officials now have to redraw maps to allow an additional black majority district.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell called the decision a historic win not just for Alabama voters, but for democracy itself.

“It is about making sure that every American’s voice in this democracy is heard,” said Congresswoman Sewell.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell and State Representative Juandalynn Givan agree that this decision is earth shattering for Alabama.

“They basically drew maps that said ‘we only want white people to represent white people’,” said state representative Givan.

The veteran state rep says black residents represent more than 25% of Alabama and that they deserve their voice to be heard.

“It was clearly gerrymandering, packing and stacking of these congressional districts which is against the law.”

The question now is, how will Alabama’s seven congressional districts change.

“The court will decide that. So in the Supreme Court’s decision today they remanded the case back to the same three judge panel,” said Congresswoman Sewell.

Right now the congressman is the only black state representative in Alabama. She believes that the panel with either draw the new lines or review the lines that will be redrawn by the state legislators. She also expects the process to play out quickly.

“I would suspect that we would definitely be running in 2024 with the redrawn districts. It may be before that.”

GOP Chairman John Wahl said in a statement that state lawmakers would comply with the ruling.

“Regardless of our disagreement with the Court’s decision, we are confident the Alabama Legislature will redraw district lines that ensure the people of Alabama are represented by members who share their beliefs, while following the requirements of applicable law,” said Wahl in a statement released by his office.

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