Court Throws Out Alabama’s New Congressional Map

Alabama’s secretary of state, John H. Merrill, declined to comment on the ruling.

Adam Kincaid, the executive director of the National Republican Redistricting Trust, the party’s main mapmaking organization, said the map was based on one that was cleared in 2011 by President Obama’s Justice Department, then led by Mr. Holder, and comports with the Voting Rights Act.

“The new map maintains the status quo,” Mr. Kincaid said. “It does not violate Section 2 of the VRA under the current application of the law and should be upheld.”

For three decades, Alabama has had a single majority-Black congressional district that has elected Black Democrats. The state’s other six districts have been represented only by white Republicans since 2011.

In Alabama’s lone majority-Black district, represented by Terri Sewell, a Democrat, more than 60 percent of the voters are Black — representing almost a third of the state’s Black population. The bulk of the state’s remaining Black population is split — or “cracked” — among the First, Second and Third Congressional Districts, all of which have been safely Republican for years.

In 2018, a group of Black voters filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the Alabama map violated the Voting Rights Act. They lost.

“It’s past time for Alabama to move beyond its sordid history of racial discrimination at the polls, and to listen to and be responsive to the needs and concerns of voters of color,” Tish Gotell Faulks, the legal director of the ACLU of Alabama, said following Wednesday’s ruling.

President Biden and congressional Democrats sought to enact legislation that, among other things, would have limited partisan gerrymandering by state legislatures. That effort died when Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, both Democrats, thwarted a party-wide push to overcome Republican opposition by changing Senate rules.

Nick Corasaniti contributed reporting.