Showing posts with label gerrymandering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gerrymandering. Show all posts


How Alabama is defying the supreme court to discriminate against Black voters

CC™ Politico

By Sam Levine & Andrew Witherspoon

“In June, the US supreme court upheld a decision ordering Alabama to redraw its congressional map – but state Republicans ignored the mandate”

Just a few months ago, the US supreme court issued one of its most surprising rulings in recent memory.

In a 5-4 decision in Allen v Milligan, the court said Alabama’s congressional mapviolated the 1965 Voting Rights Act because it diluted the influence of Black voters, who make up about a quarter of the state’s population, but comprise a majority in just one of Alabama’s congressional districts. The justices upheld a lower court’s decision ordering Alabama to redraw its map “to include two districts in which Black voters either comprise a voting-age majority or something quite close to it”.

It was widely seen as a major win for the Voting Rights Act, a statute that the US supreme court has significantly hollowed out over the last decade. It was a victory that was supposed to give the Black belt, a historically Black region in the state that is among the poorest in the US, better representation in Washington.

The statute, a landmark of the civil rights movement, has been critical in increasing Black representation at all levels of government across the US.

But when Alabama’s Republican-controlled legislature convened just a few weeks later, they ignored the mandate. Their new map still included just one majority Black district. It increased the percentage of Black voters in a second district to be around 41% Black, but continued to crack the Black belt, a historically Black region that stretches across the middle of Alabama, into multiple districts. Now, it is asking a federal court to approve that map and, if they don’t, the case will probably return to the supreme court.