The Supreme Court has rejected an attempt by Alabama Republicans to use a congressional map that includes only one majority-Black district. This decision follows a ruling in June that reaffirmed a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. The new map, similar to the previous one, was invalidated by lower court rulings that stated an additional majority-Black district was required. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall argued to block the rulings, citing the court’s decision to end consideration of race in college admissions. However, lawyers for the challengers argued that the state had made no effort to draw a second majority-Black district as required under existing law.
The Supreme Court’s decision marks a defeat for Alabama Republicans for the second time in three months. The court rejected emergency requests from Republican state officials to block lower court rulings invalidating the new congressional map. This ruling aligns with the previous decision in June, which forced Alabama back to the drawing board. The new map, like its predecessor, only includes one district where Black voters have a high likelihood of electing a candidate of their choice, despite 27% of the state’s population being Black. Lower court judges have consistently ruled that there should be a second majority-Black district based on the size and compactness of Alabama’s Black population.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall sought to block the rulings by citing the Supreme Court’s decision on ending consideration of race in college admissions. He argued that historical race discrimination, once lawful and justified, is no longer appropriate as a remedy. However, lawyers for the challengers emphasized that the state had not made any effort to draw a second majority-Black district as required by existing law. This ruling has significant implications for the upcoming elections, as a new map with an additional majority-Black district could benefit Democrats in their quest to win control of the House of Representatives.