Voters Sue for New Congressional Map in Alabama

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, a group of Alabama voters filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that the state’s current congressional map is malapportioned after the release of 2020 census data and is a racial gerrymander in violation of the 14th Amendment. The suit asks that the court prohibit the use of the current map for future congressional elections and step in and implement a fairly-apportioned map if the state legislature is unable to do so before the 2022 election cycle starts. The state has already held a round of hearings on redistricting and a special session “might be called in October 2021 to consider Congressional redistricting,” according to the complaint. The plaintiffs express concern over the timing of the redistricting process, arguing that “time is of the essence for this action, with a final hearing in November or December 2021 needed before the 2022 elections.” 

The complaint argues that the state’s 2011 congressional map is “malapportioned and racially gerrymandered, packing black voters in a single majority-black Congressional district and minimizing their influence in five majority-white districts.” To address this, the plaintiffs suggest that a new map be drawn preserving county boundaries, rather than splitting up counties between congressional districts as was done with the current map. The plaintiffs signaled their intent to file their proposed map maintaining county boundaries, arguing that by “aggregating whole counties, Alabama can remedy the existing racial gerrymander, restore a measure of rationality and fairness to Alabama’s Congressional redistricting process, and afford African Americans an opportunity to elect candidates of their choice in at least two districts.”

Read the complaint here.