Alabama defies Supreme Court order for additional majority-Black district

Alabama state senators discuss a redrawn map of the state's districts.
(Image credit: Kim Chandler/AP Photo)

Alabama lawmakers on Friday approved a redrawn map that carved out just one majority-Black congressional district in the state, defying a Supreme Court ruling that said Alabama had to create at least two majority-Black districts.

The new map, helmed by the Alabama Legislature's Republican supermajority, increased the percentage of Black voters to around 50% in just one district, and a second district with roughly 40%. This new map means that District 7 would remain Alabama's only Black-majority district, and the map actually "reduces the Black voting age population in District 7 from 55.6% to 50.65%," according to an analysis of the map from CNN.

A proposed change to Alabama's District 2 would increase the Black voting population, but only to 39.9%.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The map proposal comes one month after a June Supreme Court ruling found that Alabama's gerrymandered districts had violated civil rights laws and the Voting Rights Act. The Court found that the current district makeup disproportionally favored white voters, despite Black voters making up 25% of Alabama's electorate, The Guardian reported.

The surprising decision from the conservative-majority Court upheld a lower court ruling that the current map violated the Voting Rights Act because it offered Black voters "less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress," and ordered the state's districts to be redrawn. However, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) made it clear she had no intention of complying with the order, tweeting that the legislature "knows our state, our people, and our districts better than the federal courts or activist groups, and I am pleased that they answered the call, remained focused and produced new districts ahead of the court deadline."

Further legal challenges are likely, and there "was never any intent in this building to comply with their court order," Alabama state Rep. Chris England (D) told CNN.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Justin Klawans

Justin Klawans is a staff writer at The Week. Based in Chicago, he was previously a breaking news reporter for Newsweek, writing breaking news and features for verticals including politics, U.S. and global affairs, business, crime, sports, and more. His reporting has been cited on many online platforms, in addition to CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

He is also passionate about entertainment and sports news, and has covered film, television, and casting news as a freelancer for outlets like Collider and United Press International, as well as Chicago sports news for Fansided.