A panel of three U.S. judges in the southern state of Alabama ruled Tuesday that the state legislature for a second time discriminated against Black citizens in the way it redrew congressional district lines for the 2024 elections.
The panel said lawmakers refused to obey an edict giving Black voters a reasonable chance of choosing the winner of a second seat in Alabama’s seven-member delegation in the House of Representatives.
The three-judge panel said it would now appoint a special master to redraw the congressional district lines, although the state could appeal its ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the ruling Tuesday, the judicial panel said the legislature’s new plan was woefully lacking.
"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,” the judges wrote.
“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 plainly fails to do so."