Plaintiffs respond to the Alabama Legislature passing another congressional map that lacks a second majority-Black district, in direct violation of federal law and the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Legislature today voted to enact a second congressional map that violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). The vote comes after a 19-month legal battle over congressional representation for Black voters in the state, during which the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with plaintiffs that the original map enacted in 2021 likely violated the VRA; the high court then affirmed the lower court injunction requiring the Alabama Legislature to redraw the map to ensure it no longer diluted Black political power.
In response to today’s vote, Allen v. Milligan plaintiffs released the following joint statement:
“Let’s be clear: The Alabama Legislature believes it is above the law. What we are dealing with is a group of lawmakers who are blatantly disregarding not just the Voting Rights Act, but a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court and a court order from the three-judge district court. Even worse, they continue to ignore constituents’ pleas to ensure the map is fair and instead remain determined to rob Black voters of the representation we deserve. We won’t let that happen. Since the beginning of the redistricting process, we have testified before the State Legislature, sent letters, and proposed maps — then we sued to defend Black representation and won. We will not rest until the State of Alabama complies with the Voting Rights Act and enacts a map with two districts where Black voters have a real opportunity to elect their candidates of choice and the Legislature fulfills its duty to obey the law.”
In November 2021, after the state’s original map was enacted, Greater Birmingham Ministries, the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, and individual voters Evan Milligan, Khadidah Stone, Letetia Jackson, and Shalela Dowdy filed a federal lawsuit alleging the map violated Section 2 of the VRA by cracking and packing Black voters in a way that prevented them from electing candidates of their choice. Plaintiffs are represented by the Legal Defense Fund (LDF), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Alabama, Hogan Lovells LLP, and Wiggins, Childs, Pantazis, Fisher & Goldfarb.
In January 2022, a three-judge panel struck down the original map, but the U.S. Supreme Court put the initial win on hold. On June 8, 2023, the Supreme Court reached a final decision and found that the map did indeed violate the VRA and ordered the Legislature to redraw it to include two districts where Black voters have a real opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. Following the decision, the Milligan Plaintiffs together with the separate Caster Plaintiffs, submitted a remedial redistricting plan that carefully adheres to the decisions of both the U.S. Supreme Court. The Plaintiffs’ remedial plan includes the two opportunity districts and remedies the cracking of the Black Belt. The Legislature ignored this plan and instead enacted a map that maintains the status quo, with only one district in which Black voters have the possibility of electing candidates of their choosing to represent them in Congress.
Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.