U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Alabama Republicans’ Bid To Pause Ruling on Congressional Map

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Alabama Republicans’ request to pause an order that blocks Alabama’s congressional map from being implemented for the 2024 elections. Today’s order from the Supreme Court paves the way for Alabama to have a new, fair congressional map for 2024. 

The blocked map, enacted by the Republican-led Legislature and Republican governor, does not contain two majority-Black districts and was enacted in open defiance of a federal court order.

Today’s decision comes after Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen (R) asked the Supreme Court to intervene again in Allen v. Milligan, a redistricting case challenging the state’s congressional map.

Last term, in a landmark ruling upholding Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the Supreme Court affirmed in Allen v. Milligan that Alabama’s congressional map drawn with 2020 census data should remain blocked as it likely violated the VRA. After the Supreme Court’s decision, the case went back to the trial court so a new map could be drawn to include a second majority-Black district. 

However, because Alabama Republicans vehemently refused to obey a court order to pass a fair map during a special session this summer, Alabama’s new congressional map was similarly blocked earlier this month. 

In blocking the Republican-backed plan on Sept. 5, a three-judge panel of two Trump appointees and one Reagan appointee wrote that “we are deeply troubled that the State enacted a map that the State readily admits does not provide the remedy we said federal law requires.” 

After a lower court blocked Alabama’s Republican-backed congressional plan, Allen then asked that same court to pause their own ruling but the court declined after finding that Allen “offers no reason, let alone a compelling one, why Alabamians should have to wait that long to vote under a lawful congressional districting map.” Despite this, Allen made a similar plea to the Supreme Court. 

In a reply brief supporting his request to pause the order that blocked the map, Allen cynically opined that the “State of Alabama has been maligned as engaging in ‘open rebellion’” and shamelessly asked the Supreme Court to allow voters to vote under yet another unfair map for the 2024 election.  

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court firmly rebuffed this request. Meanwhile, yesterday, a court-appointed special master submitted three proposals for the 2024 congressional map to the court. With maps now submitted and the Supreme Court having denied Alabama’s request, Alabama voters who have waited far too long for fair representation are on their way to having  a new, fair map for 2024. 

Read the order here.

Learn more about the case here.