MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama officials are reacting to the news Tuesday of a three-judge federal panel
. The panel said lawmakers failed to create a second district where Black voters at least came close to comprising a majority. striking down the state’s new congressional district map
“While we are disappointed in today’s decision, we strongly believe that the Legislature’s map complies with the Voting Rights Act and the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. We intend to promptly seek review from the Supreme Court to ensure that the State can use its lawful congressional districts in 2024 and beyond.”
“I am aware of the Federal Court ruling issued today. While we wait for a final map, my office will continue to support local officials as we ensure that we are prepared to conduct safe, secure and fair elections in Alabama. I, along with my team, remain committed to ensuring our election laws are followed and every legal vote is counted.”
“Today’s decision is yet another victory for Black voters in Alabama and for the promise of fair representation. By appointing a special master to fairly redraw Alabama’s congressional map, the court has rejected the state legislature’s latest attempt to dilute the voices and voting power of African Americans all across our state.
While we were outraged by the Alabama State Legislature’s open defiance of the Supreme Court’s original order to create two majority-minority districts, I am nonetheless grateful that a federal court has now intervened to protect the voices of Alabama’s Black voters.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is indeed alive and enforceable!”
“The decision today represents what we in this state already knew to be true, that the Republican-led Legislature is unable to draw maps that offer black voters a chance to fairly elect representation of their choice consistent with federal laws. Alabama has a long history of voting rights struggles and victories, and we are so thankful that the panel of federal judges ruled correctly on this issue and will appoint a special master to ensure that the 2024 Congressional elections finally offer an equitable chance for black voters to have their voices heard.
However, we must highlight how disappointed we are that our Republican colleagues in the Legislature have repeatedly defied both federal law and Supreme Court orders in their attempts to diminish the voting power of African Americans in Alabama, and hope they will make more substantive efforts to incorporate all voices into the redistricting process in the future.”
“Today is a victory for Alabama voters, as the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama ruled that the State of Alabama’s “Livingston 3” congressional map violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
The three-judge panel rightfully recognized that the State’s map represented defiance over compliance, and failed to remedy the State’s Section 2 violation. If the State’s map had been upheld, Black voters - and all Alabama voters - would have been collateral damage.
I believe that the new map that will be created by the court-appointed special master and cartographer will provide a second district that will allow Black voters the opportunity to elect the candidate of their choice. And I am confident that justice will prevail. We expect that a new map will give voters the representation they are guaranteed, and deserve, under the U.S. Constitution and nothing less.
From the beginning of this process, all we have asked for from the legislative majority is fairness, transparency, and adherence to the rule of law. It is simply not right that Alabama Black voters - who represent 27% of Alabama’s population - only have 14% representation in Congress. The creation of a second opportunity district will help cure that inequity.”
“The federal court judges ruled that it’s not ok for the Legislature of Alabama to flip them off and blatantly disrespect and defy the court’s order. Today was the realization of a wasted special session for which I held up a sign that read 0 + 0 = A NO RESULT SPECIAL SESSION.”
“While we respect the Court, we are disappointed in its decision, and we trust that the State will ultimately prevail in this litigation.”
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