The US Supreme Court last week declined requests by officials in Alabama to use a congressional map drawn in July by Republican state lawmakers for the upcoming election, CBS News reported.
The Court rejected two separate requests for emergency relief with no noted dissents, leaving in place a lower court decision blocking the map.
In a statement last week, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said the Court’s decision will encumber the state “with a racially gerrymandered” map drawn by the court for the upcoming 2024 election. While Marshall defended the new map drawn by Republican lawmakers this summer, he said the state would comply with the lower court’s order blocking the map.
Marshall said that the state is being sidelined “by a view of Alabama that is stuck in 1963.” He said the challenges to the congressional map are part of a “racial agenda” from “left-wing activists” in not just Alabama, “but in any Republican state where it might advantage Democrats.”
Last week’s SCOTUS decision is the latest in a long fight over Alabama’s congressional map.
In June, the Court upheld a lower court’s ruling invalidating the district lines that were drawn after the 2020 Census, agreeing with the lower court’s decision that the map likely violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
The lower court had ordered Alabama lawmakers to redraw the state’s 7 congressional districts to include a second black-majority district. After the Supreme Court upheld the ruling, state lawmakers reconvened in July to enact a new map. This too only included one majority-black district.
The new map was quickly challenged and a 3-judge panel blocked the map from being used in the 2024 election. The court appointed a special master to draw a remedial map to replace the GOP-drawn map from July.
With the Court declining the requests, the work of a special master appointed by the lower court will continue.