Legislators could convene mid-July in a special session to consider new congressional maps.
The Supreme Court of the United States upheld in a 5-4 decision by Chief Justice John Roberts last week a lower court's ruling that Alabama will have to redraw a second largely or majority-black congressional district.
Alabama currently has one majority-black congressional district held by U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham).
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a filing on Thursday in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals “the Legislature should have the opportunity to draw a plan for the 2024 congressional elections, and the timing is practicable here to afford the Legislature that opportunity.”
“Legislators are already taking steps to advance that process, which we understand will move quickly,” Marshall said in the filing. “After consulting with legislative leadership, we believe the Legislature should be allowed until July 21, 2023, to enact new legislation. Because the Legislature is not currently in session, the Governor will have to call a special session. And under state law, the session must run a minimum of five calendar days before legislation can be enacted. If the special session runs from July 17 through July 21, there will be time for the Reapportionment Committee to receive public input regarding the plan and then propose it to legislators for review before a vote."
He continued, "Moreover, if the new plan is enacted by July 21, Plaintiffs will have more time to consider whether they will challenge it than if the Parties instead had a trial on July 31 followed by a finding of liability and the enactment of a new plan in late August or early September. Accordingly, Defendants ask that the Legislature be given until July 21 to enact a new plan.”
The plaintiffs in the case also asked the court to give the legislature the opportunity to devise a different congressional map on or before July 21.
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