The people's voice of reason

Saturday was the one year anniversary of Supreme Court decision rejecting Alabama's congressional districts

Saturday, marked the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Allen v. Milligan, which sent Alabama's congressional districts back to the courts for review.

Supporters of the decision claim that the court reinforced Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Opponents argue that it is simply gerrymandering based on arbitrary racial breakdowns.

As a result, however Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia have been forced to draw new congressional representative maps with additional Black opportunity districts going into the 2024 election. The National Redistricting Foundation (NRF), the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), initiated this case from the beginning in support of the Caster plaintiffs. The Caster case was consolidated with a similar case brought by another group of plaintiffs, the Milligan plaintiffs, and the NRF continued to direct the legal strategy and financially support the Caster plaintiff group as the case went before the U.S. Supreme Court. Democrats are hopeful that this court interference in the state's redistricting will help them take back control of the United States House of Representatives.

"Allen v. Milligan has brought more representative electoral maps to states once thought to be unreachable in the fight for equal representation, including Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana. This incredible progress is worthy of celebration-all the more so because it did not come easily," said Eric H. Holder, Jr., the 82nd Attorney General of the United States. "From defying federal court orders to attempting to use litigation as a vehicle to roll back voting protections for citizens, the resistance to the enforcement of Allen v. Milligan over the past year mirrored the sordid history of the Jim Crow era. That continued, concerted effort to achieve unearned, illegitimate power at the expense of communities of color demonstrates that our country remains too far from the Promised Land envisioned by those who sacrificed their lives for civil and voting rights."

"As we reflect on this landmark decision, we must not only recognize progress, but we must also resolve to do more in the struggle for justice and equality," said Holder. "True equity can only be achieved when the bedrock of our democracy is secure and the fundamental rights of all American citizens are protected and upheld-not through delusory notions of a self-identified race-blindness. In order to make that vision a reality, we must preserve the legal projections for every citizen's right to vote and that starts with renewing efforts to reinstate and reinvigorate the Voting Rights Act of 1965-in its entirety."

The Alabama State Legislature refused to comply fully with the court's order and presented a plan that had little chance of being adopted by the court. That plan was rejected by the three judge panel in Atlanta and a court appointed special master prepared the district plan that the state is using for the 2024 election.

The special master combined Congressmen Barry Moore (R-AL02) and Jerry Carl (R-AL01) into the same district. Moore has since defeated Carl in the Republican primary. With no incumbent running in the new radically redrawn Congressional District 2 there was a battle royal for that seat with as many as 21 candidates running for the major party nominations there. Shomari Figures won the Democratic nomination while Caroleene Dobson won the Republican nomination. The two of them will face off in the November 5 ballot.

The new CD2 is 52% Democrat to 48% Republican; while the new CD1 is about 85% Republican and now one of the most conservative districts in the country.

The state has appealed the lower court's decision to the Supreme Court and is hoping for some relief from the court. That decision could come at any time.

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