Ever since the US Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder in 2013 that Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was no longer constitutional because more than 40 years had elapsed since the law was passed, Republican controlled states had felt that they were now free to gerrymander electoral districts to minimize or even eliminate districts that had majority Black populations which were more likely to elect Democratic candidates. And they proceeded to do so, with Alabama being one of the first off the mark.
They drew a map that had just one Black majority district even though Alabama has 25% Black population. An Appeals Court rejected that map and Alabama appealed to the US Supreme Court.
A three-judge panel struck down the map last year, deciding the state could have easily drawn a reasonably configured district that gave Black voters a majority in a second district. The supreme court agreed with that determination in June, with chief justice John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh joining the three liberal justices to form a majority.
Although that verdict surprised most observers, you would think that it would have ended settled the issue. But no. Republicans drew another map that still did not have two Black majority districts. It was clear that they were trying to run out the clock, and squeeze in the 2024 election under the old map before being forced to redraw it. They were promptly sued again and the Appeals Court had had enough of Alabama’s shenanigans and scolded the state for ignoring the Supreme Court order and went even further and took away the map drawing ability from the legislature and gave it to a special master.
Alabama then sued to prevent that but today, the Supreme Court rejected that appeal so the special master will draw the map.
“It has been a long and frustrating battle holding the Alabama legislature accountable, but today it is a rewarding one,” lawyers from a coalition of civil rights groups, which represented the plaintiffs in the case, said in a joint statement. “Even after the highest court in the land sided with Black voters in June, our elected officials still chose power over people by outright defying multiple court orders and the loud cries of their constituents to do the right thing.”
In the age of serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT), Republicans have become increasingly shameless in trying to ignore court rulings that go against them. Once priding themselves on being the party of law and order, they are now a party of scofflaws..