2 more lawsuits filed over Alabama’s new district maps

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 5:47 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2021 at 7:12 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Two new lawsuits have been filed over Alabama’s news legislative and congressional district maps. The maps were given final approval with Gov. Kay Ivey’s signature at the end of the recent redistricting special session, but various social justice organizations contend the districts are racially gerrymandered.

“Pack Black voters in high numbers into particular districts or crack those Black voters among other districts to prevent them from being able to form a majority and to elect candidates of choice,” explained Kathryn Sadasivan with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund of the new maps.

The suit Milligan v Merrill covers the congressional map, which claims the newly drawn districts deny Black residents’ equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. And in the Thomas v. Merrill suit, the complaint says that the state legislative maps unnecessarily pack more people of color into a district but also crack this group to prevent political power.

“Impacts Alabama’s Black communities, preventing the creation of two majority-minority districts in violation of Section II of the Voting Rights Act,” said Sadasivan.

Lawsuits were also filed after the last redistricting process a decade ago, and those suits lasted years. The groups involved this time are the NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, Alabama Forward, and the Alabama Election Protection network, and they all want solutions by election season.

“We are on an expedited briefing timeline because of the candidate qualifying deadline on January 28, but there are a number of phases to Section II litigation,” said Sadasivan.

There are additional lawsuits filed in regards to the various maps, which could be combined into a single case in the near future.

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