Federal court blocks new congressional map of Alabama

By Ethan Cohen

A federal court on Monday blocked Alabama’s new congressional map, ruling it likely violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it includes only one district where black voters can to elect a candidate of their choice.

The order gives the legislature 14 days to draw a new map that includes “two constituencies in which black voters constitute either a voting-age majority or something close enough.”

The court also extended the state ballot qualification deadline from Jan. 28 to Feb. 11.

If Monday’s decision stands, it will likely lead to Democrats securing a House seat from Alabama in November.

“This decision is a victory for black voters in Alabama, who have been denied equal representation for far too long,” former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement released late Monday by the National Redistricting Foundation. who she said had supported the plaintiffs in the case.

“The court’s decision reminds us that the moral arc of the universe does indeed bend toward justice — but only when enough people come together and pull it toward justice,” Holder added.

This is the second congressional map blocked by the justices in this redistricting round. Ohio’s Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that that state’s new map was a partisan gerrymander that violated the state’s constitution.

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