Advocates react to SCOTUS redistricting hearing for Alabama

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 5:44 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:14 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - U.S. Supreme Court justices heard a case Tuesday morning that could change the future of voter representation in Alabama. The Merrill v. Milligan case is about the constitutionality of the Alabama congressional district map.

Plaintiffs argue that under the U.S Voting Rights Act, the state’s congressional map should have not one but two majority-minority districts.

Meanwhile, organizers in Montgomery met to advocate for the plaintiffs in this case.

“We have an issue that could hinder us for another 10 to 12 years,” said Kenneth Dukes, pastor with the Alabama NAACP.

“Let this Supreme Court case prove to you that your vote does matter because if it didn’t matter, they wouldn’t care,” said Adia Winfrey with Transform Alabama.

In 2020 Winfrey was the Democratic congressional nominee for Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District.

“I saw firsthand how congressional lines were diluting the voices of Black Alabamians in parts of east Alabama, as well as parts of the Black Belt,” she said.

Winfrey thinks a different congressional map could have made a difference. but she was still glad to have taken part in the democratic process.

“It didn’t discourage me,” she said. “I told people that you still have to get out and vote.”

Legal analyst Jerome Dees with the Southern Poverty Law Center said he thinks plaintiffs will be successful despite the new conservative majority on the high court.

“Conservative justices on the court, as well as the more liberal justices on the court, I think without question were able to see that the plaintiffs were able to present such a map,” he said.

State lawmakers who are responsible for drawing the maps have repeatedly said they do not take race into account when drawing the lines.

The current congressional map with one majority-minority district will be used in this November’s election.

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