BIRMINGHAM — A panel of three federal judges said they'd soon choose which map will be used in congressional races in Alabama in 2024.

Under all three proposals submitted by a court-appointed special master last week, Democrat candidates would be favorites or at least competitive in both congressional districts 2 and 7. The second congressional district features a black voting-age population of 48.5% to 50.1% in all three plans. The seventh congressional district features a black voting-age population of 51.9% to 52.8% in all three plans.

"This court will rule shortly on the matter. We are fully aware of the exigencies of time," U.S. Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus said in a court hearing on Tuesday in Birmingham.

Alabama Solicitor General Edmund LaCour said the state objected to all three plans because they'd result in less compact congressional districts in the southern part of the state. 

LaCour said remedial plan #1 was the most objectionable in the state's view. 

LaCour said the state was eager to go ahead and start reassigning voters as quickly as possible once the chosen congressional map was announced for 2024.

"Ideally it would be chosen quickly so we could get started today or in the morning," LaCour said at the hearing. 

Attorneys for Milligan and Caster plaintiffs said they preferred remedial plan 1 to the other two plans. 

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