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US court forces Alabama to create a black zone – 06/08/2023 – The World

US court forces Alabama to create a black zone – 06/08/2023 – The World

Black activists on Thursday (8) celebrated the US Supreme Court’s decision, by a vote of 5-4, to invalidate the electoral map drawn up by the Republicans in Alabama that focuses on predominately black areas in one district – and, therefore, will ensure that participation quota drops in local politics.

The impasse began in 2021, when state Republican authorities put together a new local electoral map design to match the previous year’s census.

Polling districts are redrawn across the country each decade to reflect changes measured by the national census. In most states, the readjustment is done by the ruling party, which can lead to manipulation of the map for partisan gain.

Alabama lawmakers ignored the part of the study that said blacks account for 27% of the state’s population — which practically guarantees that residents will be a majority in at least one other district.

According to black activists, the new map reduced the influence of black voters by concentrating their voting power in one district, while distributing the rest of that population to other districts, in very small quantities, to form a white majority. Last year, three federal judges have already accepted that challenge.

Activists charged that the redesign conflicted with the Voting Rights Act, which was enacted in 1965 to prevent previously segregated states from disenfranchising African Americans.

The Alabama government wanted to avoid racial criteria being taken into account during the evaluation. State officials argued that designing a second district in favor of black voters would be racially discriminatory because it favored them at the expense of other voters. Furthermore, Alabama asserted that if the Voting Rights Act required the state to consider race in this way, it would violate the United States Constitution.

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The US Supreme Court has a conservative majority of 6-3, and based on discussions of the process last October, it appears to be tilting in favor of Alabama.

But he did not bend. In addition to the three liberals on the court, conservative Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh voted for the campaigners. The former, who heads the highest court, said Alabama’s arguments “are not convincing either in theory or in practice.”

Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, who is Black, said the court case is about whether US law requires Alabama to “deliberately redesign its old congressional districts so that Black voters can control a number of seats roughly proportional to the black portion of the state’s population.” “. For him, the answer is no. Vote won.

With the result in favor of the activists’ claim, Alabama authorities will now have to create a second congressional district with a majority of black voters. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the ruling “endorses the principle that every American voter should be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote without suffering discrimination.”

Davin Rosborough, an attorney for American Civil Rights, called the decision a “major victory” and said that “the Supreme Court has rejected the notion that it is inappropriate to consider racial criteria in determining the existence of racial discrimination.”

“It’s good for democracy,” added Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. The celebration was not in vain: The new congressional map, expected to take effect as early as the 2024 election, could bolster Democrats’ efforts to regain a majority in the House of Representatives, which Republicans now hold by a narrow margin of 222 to 212. Black voters tend to vote in Often for Democratic candidates.

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