(DCWatchdog.com) – A federal court has blocked Alabama’s new congressional map designed by its Republican-led legislature, slamming it as “deeply troubled” for failing to comply with earlier recommendations from the US Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, declared that the state “did not even nurture the ambition” of observing earlier court orders, The Daily Caller reports.
In June, the US Supreme Court ruled that Alabama’s new congressional redistricting violated the Voting Rights Act by not creating a second district with a black majority or near-majority.
Subsequently, the US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama gave the state until July 21 to redraw the map.
“We are disturbed by the evidence that the State delayed remedial proceedings but ultimately did not even nurture the ambition to provide the required remedy,” the federal court writes in its new ruling.
“And we are struck by the extraordinary circumstance we face. We are not aware of any other case in which a state legislature — faced with a federal court order declaring that its electoral plan unlawfully dilutes minority votes and requiring a plan that provides an additional opportunity district — responded with a plan that the state concedes does not provide that district,” the three-judge panel elaborates.
According to the ruling, the way the Alabama legislature redrew its congressional map during a special session on July 17 “does not remedy” the violations of the Voting Rights Act established by the US Supreme Court.
The Alabama Northern District Court further appointed a cartographer and a Special Master to redraw the state’s new congressional map, arguing it would be “practically impossible” for the legislature to do that by the 2024 election.
Shortly after Tuesday’s ruling, CNN reported that Alabama officials filed notice that they were appealing.
“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 US Supreme Court,” declared the office of Alabama Attorney General Steven Marshall.
“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,” the statement added.
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