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The Alabama Republican Party weighed in on Monday in the battle over Congressional redistricting, filing a "friend of the court" motion with the United States Supreme Court.
The motion supports the arguments in Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s (R) emergency petition, asking for a stay in the federal court order requiring qualifying to remain open for all seven of Alabama's U.S. House seats while the map is redrawn.
The Alabama Republican Party contends that the federal court erred by testing the new districts using racial benchmarks instead of traditional districting principles. The GOP also pointed out that the order, which came just days before qualifying was set to end, is unduly disruptive to the election process.
"The federal court has created uncertainty at this late hour in the primary election calendar,” said Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl. “This election cycle has already started, and it would be unduly burdensome to both the candidates and voters to disrupt the primary at this time. This court ruling also affects the district lines used to organize our ALGOP membership and Steering Committee.
"The ALGOP has a long history of defending civil liberties and minorities, from our days as the party of Lincoln to the Civil Rights Movement. Under my leadership, the Alabama Republican Party will continue the fight for free and fair elections for all the people of Alabama.”
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has requested that the Plaintiffs in the case – who support new district lines – file their response with the Court by Wednesday, Feb. 2, at Noon.
The State is appealing a three judge panel decision that Alabama’s congressional redistricting map does not comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The panel was made up of U.S. Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus and U.S. District Judges Anna Manasco and Terry Moore. The panel ordered the state to redraw the districts so that there is a second majority-Black district or one with a more substantial Black population.
Three separate court cases challenge the redistricting plan, which passed in a special session last fall. Blacks comprise 27% of Alabama’s population. However, only one of Alabama’s seven congressional districts are majority-minority – the seventh congressional district.
Congressional qualifying remains open, on the orders of the court, and the legislature has not drawn the commanded new redistricting map while Marshall’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is in process. At this point, no one can know with any great degree of certainty what congressional district they will be in for the next 10 years, while this is being litigated.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.