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Alabama goes to the Supreme Court on redistribution

In court papers, the state told the judges that the subpoena "marks a radical change" from decades of Alabama's congressional plans and will result in a map "that can only be drawn by placing race first over race-neutral district criteria, sorting and dividing voters across the state on the basis of race alone. "

The court on Friday night asked the challengers for the card to respond at noon Wednesday to Alabama's request for Supreme Court intervention.

A three-judge panel of federal judges, including two nominated by former President Donald Trump, ruled that the card is likely to violate Section Two of the Voting Rights Act because it only covers a district where black voters have the option to choose a candidate of their own. choice . Section 2 prohibits voting practices that discriminate on the basis of race.

The lower court refused to suspend its decision Thursday night. The court has previously said that the Republican-led legislature has until Feb. 7 to draw a new card that includes "either an additional majority-black congressional district or an additional district where black voters otherwise have the option to elect a representative. of your choice. "

The court also extended the congressional candidate's qualification period, originally set for January 28 to February 11, to allow the legislature to adopt a remedial plan, but lower court judges have also begun work on a backup plan for a court-signed card. if the legislature fails to do so within the time limit.

The verdict was given by U.S. Circuit Court Judge Stanley Marcus, a Bill Clinton nominee, and District Court Judges Anna M. Manasco and Terry F. Moorer, both nominated by Trump.

Deuel Ross, senior adviser at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which represents the challengers, defended the lower court decision.

"The court merely applied a well-concluded precedent and relied on the extensive evidence presented during the trial to conclude that Alabama's newly adopted congressional card did not comply with federal law," he said.

Alabama's Secretary of Justice Steve Marshall asked the Supreme Court to act now as the appeal process unfolds. He said the legislature was "governed by race-neutral principles" and that the congressional plan "reflects" previous plans while making "small adjustments to accommodate population change."

Suffrage expert Rick Hasen said the controversy could shed light on how the district court can look at similar challenges that are required to reach judges up to the next election.

"This is the first redistribution and race case in the new decade to come before the Supreme Court," Hasen said in a statement. "The case has the potential, but not the certainty, to signal where the Supreme Court now stands in matters of racial considerations in redistribution and the scope and constitutionality of § 2 of the VRA as applied to redistribution."

This story has been updated with further details on Friday.


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