by Madeleine Hubbard
The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down an Alabama congressional district map drawn by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature in a decision that the Court’s majority says upholds the Voting Rights Act.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the court’s three liberals in the 5-4 ruling against Alabama. State officials will now have to redraw the congressional map to correctly reflect that the state is 27% black.
“Although we are content to reject Alabama’s invitation to change existing law on the ground that the State misunderstands and our decisions implementing it, we also address how the race-neutral benchmark would operate in practice,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “Alabama’s approach fares poorly on that score, which further counsels against our adopting it.”
Alabama had argued that the lower court emphasized race too much when it had ordered for the state to draw a second majority-black district. The court affirmed the lower court’s decision, which had found it substantially likely that the map diluted minority voters’ power under Section 2 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
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