Supreme Court will hear Alabama redistricting case


The U.S. Supreme Court (Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear two appeals from Alabama Democrats who allege the state’s legislative district lines intentionally marginalize African American voters.

The new district lines, drawn by Republicans and adopted in 2012 after the 2010 Census, pack African American voters into overwhelmingly Democratic districts in eight of the state’s 35 Senate districts and 28 of 105 House districts.

The Alabama Legislative Black Caucus and the Alabama Democratic Conference say that violates voters’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the federal Voting Rights Act.

Two judges on a three-judge panel disagreed and sided with the state. But the Supreme Court said Monday it would hear the case in its next term, which begins in October.

About 26 percent of Alabama’s population is African American, according to Census data.

Alabama’s new district lines are one of two sets of post-Census redistricting maps still making their way through the courts. In Florida, state Democrats are challenging another set of district lines they say undercut voter rights.

Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
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Reid Wilson | June 2