The Supreme Court of the United States upheld in a 5-4 decision by Chief Justice John Roberts on Thursday a lower court’s ruling that Alabama will have to redraw a second majority-black congressional district. 

Alabama currently has one majority-black congressional district held by U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham).

The majority wrote that the concern that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act “may impermissibly elevate race in the allocation of political power within the States is, of course, not new.” 

“Our opinion today does not diminish or disregard these concerns. It simply holds that a faithful application of our precedents and a fair reading of the record before us do not bear them out here,” Roberts wrote in the majority’s decision. “The judgments of the District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in the Caster case, and of the three-judge District Court in the Milligan case, are affirmed.”

In a dissenting opinion, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said the decision was inconsistent with “our precedents on racial predominance, and the fundamental principle that States are almost always prohibited from basing decisions on race.”

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