Tuesday's ruling by a three-federal judge panel deeming Alabama's congressional maps insufficient in creating a second minority-majority congressional district was not a surprise to many, including State House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville).

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," Ledbetter criticized the contradicting instructions of the federal court and federal law. He called the ruling confusing and suggested it was a method employed by Democrats to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives outside of the election process.

"It's a little confusing because they don't want us to gerrymander those districts, but then they ask us to gerrymander them," he said. "I mean, that's the only way you can get to those numbers is gerrymandering. The Voting Rights Act, to me, I don't know if they fully went by that. I don't know — we come back and changed it to what I thought was probably, giving 40%, and that was a pretty good move from where we're at. It wasn't enough. They didn't give us a number saying, we've got to be at this number or you've got to be at that number. They just said something that looks like a minority district. The Voting Rights law, I mean, gerrymander when it tells you not to? According to law, you can't gerrymander by race. In essence, that is what they did. That is what they want us to do. It is a little confusing about what they want, what they're looking for."

"Was it a surprise? No," Ledbetter continued. "Not a surprise at all. I think at the end of the day, they want more to do with drawing the lines than what the legislative body did. Unfortunately, I think is being driven by people out of D.C. [Former U.S. Attorney General] Eric Holder and [former President Barack] Obama had started the PAC to try to redraw some of these lines, probably not only in congressional seats, but also House seat, State House seats. I think the last time I looked, and I have looked since all this has been going on, Eric Holder has some $300 million for projects as such as this. So, it's a way for the Democrats to try to take over the House without a vote being cast."

Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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