Alabama appeals to Supreme Court in redistricting fight | Alabama

(AP) – Alabama on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay a ruling that would force the state to draw new congressional districts,

State attorneys asked judges to stay a preliminary injunction issued by a three-judge panel on Monday. The injunction prevents the state from using current congressional districts in future elections. The three judges had ruled that Alabama’s current map likely violated voting rights law and that the state should have an additional district with a significant number of black voters.

In the emergency filing, state attorneys argued the injunction would throw state elections into chaos and force the state to draw districts based primarily on race rather than other factors. .

“Without the intervention of this Court, Alabama’s only choices are effectively no choices: a state-drawn map or a court-drawn map,” the state’s attorneys wrote. “Furthermore, this overhaul of Alabama’s congressional map at this late hour would necessitate the last-minute reassignment of hundreds of thousands of voters to new districts and could force candidates and groups seeking access to the ballot to obtain thousands of new signatures.”

Faced with a tight deadline, Alabama asked the court to issue an administrative stay followed by a stay or injunction pending appeal. The state’s qualifying deadline for political candidates was Friday, but the three-judge panel extended the deadline to Feb. 11 for congressional candidates.

Alabama is currently represented by one black Democrat elected from the state’s only majority black district and six white Republicans elected from heavily white districts. About 27% of the state’s population is black.

The three-judge panel wrote on Monday that “black voters have fewer opportunities than other Alabamians to elect their chosen congressional candidates” under Alabama’s current map.

The justices wrote that any turnaround plan “will have to include two precincts in which black voters constitute either a voting-age majority or something close enough.”

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