District Court Orders Alabama to Adopt New Congressional Map with Two Black Opportunity Districts
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A district court in Alabama today ordered the state to adopt a congressional map that includes two districts where Black voters will have the opportunity to elect the candidates of their choice.
This map remedies Alabama’s previous map, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled was discriminatory in Allen v. Milligan. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the state’s attempt to defy orders to draw a fair congressional map and allowed the three-judge district court to move forward with adopting a new map. In that ruling, a special master was assigned to draw a remedial map that includes a second “opportunity district” to ensure that Black Alabamians have fair representation in Congress.
Plaintiffs from the case released the following joint comment: “Today’s order marks a momentous step forward for us. Thousands of Black voters throughout the Black Belt, for the first time, will be able to elect their candidates of choice in two opportunity districts. This is an unequivocal win that will translate to increased opportunities for those who have too long been denied the fair representation they deserve. Though a long, hard-fought battle, we are grateful to have achieved this key measure and look forward to building a better future for Alabama voters.”
Following our legal challenge, the Supreme Court in Allen v. Milligan affirmed the trial court’s ruling striking down Alabama’s 2021 map for illegally diluting the power of Black Alabamians in violation of the Voting Rights Act and requiring a new map.
The initial 2021 map denied Black voters an opportunity to elect candidates of their choice in all but one of Alabama’s seven congressional districts — even though Black voters make up 27 percent of the state’s voting-age population. The new map will add a second district.
Plaintiffs Evan Milligan, Khadidah Stone, Letetia Jackson, Shalela Dowdy, Greater Birmingham Ministries, and the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Alabama, Legal Defense Fund, Hogan Lovells LLP, and Wiggins, Childs, Pantazis, Fisher & Goldfarb.
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