MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — On Tuesday, the Supreme Court denied Alabama’s request for emergency relief, which asked the court to allow the state’s Republican-approved congressional map to take effect.
This comes as the court-appointed special master has proposed three new maps.
The maps are meant to remedy the dilution of Black voting power that the court said was happening by having just one majority Black district out of seven in a state with more than 25% Black voters.
The three proposed maps all have at least 50% Black voting age (BVAP) population in District 7 and between 49 and 50% in District 2.
The plan passed by GOP lawmakers during a July special session had District 2 at 40%.
House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D- Huntsville) says it’s an exciting day and one he expected.
“It’s something I anticipated long ago. During the legislative debate we talked about how the three-judge panel was going to push back on the lines,” Daniels said.
According to the special master’s submission to the federal court, in all three potential District 2 proposals, the Black-preferred candidate would win between 76 and 94% of the time.
Daniels said the new maps are a step toward fair representation, but he’s disappointed in the resources the state spent defending a map the court rejected.
“The taxpayers of Alabama should be looking at the dollars that we’ve wasted on fighting frivolous lawsuits that we cannot win,” Daniels said.
Meanwhile Attorney General Steve Marshall disagrees with the court decision, saying in a statement that “the State will now be encumbered with a racially gerrymandered, court-drawn map.”
His statement also said, “Our communities, local economies, and basic geography will be cast aside in the radical pursuit of racial quotas.”
Marshall said his office will continue to defend the map.
A hearing is set for Oct. 3 where judges are expected to choose one of the special master’s three plans.
Political Analyst Steve Flowers said whichever plan the court picks will affect current Congressmen Jerry Carl in District 1 and Barry Moore in District 2, since they’ll both now be in District 1.
“Moore will have to make a decision on what he’s going to do one way or another. Carl will be favored because that’s a Mobile-Baldwin district,” Flowers said.
Flowers expects the new district will favor a Democratic candidate but thinks Republicans will put up significant efforts to get a member of their party in office.
The Secretary of State has said that Alabama needs to have a map approved by Oct. 1 to get ready for next year’s elections.
“The taxpayers of Alabama should be looking at the dollars that we’ve wasted on fighting frivolous lawsuits that we cannot win,” he said.