WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that claims Alabama’s Congressional District map underrepresents Black voters, which is a violation of the Voting Rights Act.
Black voters suing Alabama say the state’s new Congressional maps take away their voting power and are the majority in only one of seven new congressional districts.
“Black voters are 27% of the population but they only control 15% of Congressional districts,” said Deuel Ross of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell represents the one Black majority district.
“It’s simply not fair and it’s important that we fight this case,” she said.
The State of Alabama argues that taking race into account further would result in gerrymandered districts and would be discriminatory against groups like white Republicans and Black Republicans.
“Voting rights act which is designed to take discrimination out of voting. (It) cannot be used to affirmatively require the state to discriminate,” said Edmund Lacour, the Solicitor General of Alabama.
“The fundamental position for the state today is that our legislature acted properly,” added Alabaman Attorney General Steve Marshall.
Alabama lost its case in federal court, which ruled that the new Congressional districts discriminate against Black voters.
But the Supreme Court ordered the new maps to take effect for the upcoming midterm elections while it heard the appeal. The court is expected to rule on the case sometime next year.