Alabama Republicans refuse to do what the courts have ordered them to do, and they will not support voter equality

Republican Alabama lawmakers on Friday refused to create a second majority-Black congressional district. This move ignores a recent order from the U.S. Supreme Court giving Blacks a greater voice in elections.

The legislation now goes to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who is expected to sign it. 

But a panel of three federal judges said they are “deeply troubled that the State enacted a map that the State readily admits does not provide the remedy we said federal law requires.”

“We are not aware of any other case in which a state legislature — faced with a federal court order declaring that its electoral plan unlawfully dilutes minority votes and requiring a plan that provides an additional opportunity district — responded with a plan that the state concedes does not provide that district,” said U.S. Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus, U.S. District Judge Anna Manasco and U.S. District Judge Terry Moorer. “The law requires the creation of an additional district that affords Black Alabamians, like everyone else, a fair and reasonable opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. The 2023 plan fails to do so.”

Lawmakers in the Republican-dominated House and Senate instead passed a plan that would increase the percentage of Black voters from about 31 percent to 40 percent in the state’s 2nd District. 

Republicans argued that the proposal complies with a court order to create a district where Black voters could influence the outcome of congressional elections. 

But Black lawmakers said the new map invoked the state’s Jim Crow history of treating Black voters unfairly and flouted a directive from a three-judge panel to create a second majority-Black district or “something quite close to it†so that Black voters “have an opportunity to elect a representative of their choice.â€