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Federal court blocks Alabama’s new congressional map


By Ethan Cohen

A federal court blocked Alabama’s newly drawn congressional map on Monday, ruling that it likely violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it only includes one district where Black voters have the opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice.

The order gives the legislature 14 days to draw a new map that includes “two districts in which Black voters either comprise a voting-age majority or something quite close to it.”

The court also delayed the state’s ballot qualification deadline from January 28 to February 11.

If Monday’s decision stands, it will likely lead to Democrats gaining a seat in the House from Alabama this November.

“This decision is a win for Alabama’s black voters, who have been denied equal representation for far too long,” former US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Monday evening released by the National Redistricting Foundation, which it said had supported the plaintiffs in the case.

“The court’s decision reminds us that the moral arc of the universe does indeed bend toward justice — but only when enough people join together and pull it toward justice,” Holder added.

This is the second congressional map blocked by judges during this round of redistricting. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that that state’s new map was a partisan gerrymander that violated the state constitution.

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