Voting rights groups urge Supreme Court to let order redraw Alabama congressional map

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A panel of three federal judges, including two appointees by former President Donald Trump, had ruled that the map likely violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it includes only one district where voters blacks can elect a candidate of their choice. Article 2 prohibits discriminatory electoral practices on the basis of race.

The court previously said the Republican-led legislature has until Feb. 7 to draw a new map that includes “either an additional black-majority congressional district or an additional district in which black voters otherwise have the option of voting.” elect a representative of their choice.”

But Alabama is asking the High Court to step in and allow the map to remain in place during the appeals process. The Supreme Court can act at any time.

Wednesday’s NAACP filing argues the lower court “carefully analyzed” an “extremely robust body of evidence” during the trial and heard from live witnesses while reviewing more than 300 pages of exhibits before blocking the map, which had been drafted by Republican lawmakers.

“Defendants have failed to discharge their heavy burden; they cannot demonstrate that they are likely to prevail on the merits, and their claim should be dismissed for that reason alone. The preliminary injunction is stayed exceeds by away all the administrative expenses involved in holding elections – a primary in May and a general election in November – under a new, law-compliant constituency plan,” the filing said.

Election law expert Rick Hasen has previously said the dispute could shed light on how the High Court could consider similar challenges that are sure to reach judges in the run-up to the next election.

“This is the first redistricting and race case of the new decade to come to the Supreme Court,” Hasen said in a statement. “The case has the potential, but not the certainty, to signal where the Supreme Court stands on issues of racial considerations in redistricting, and the scope and constitutionality of Section 2 of the VRA as applied to the redistricting.”

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