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Friday, December 8, 2023
Dec. 8, 2023

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Federal judges to hear input on proposed new congressional lines in Alabama


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A three-judge panel was preparing to approve new congressional districts for Alabama after ruling that state lawmakers flouted their finding the state should have a second district where Black voters are the majority of the electorate or close to it.

The court will hear input Tuesday on three plans proposed by a court-appointed special master as it prepares to select a plan for use in the 2024 congressional elections. The three-judge panel is overseeing the drawing of new lines after ruling Alabama — which is 27% Black — should have more than one district with a substantial percentage of Black voters.

The three proposals under consideration all create a second district where Black voters comprise a majority of the voting age population or close to it — something state lawmakers did not do when they drew lines this summer. Richard Allen, the court-appointed special master, wrote that all three proposals follow the court’s instruction to create a second district in the state where Black voters have an opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice.

The Alabama attorney general’s office is objecting to all three of the proposals. The plaintiffs who won the case before the U.S. Supreme Court said two of the proposals are acceptable.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week rejected Alabama’s request to stop the redrawing of the lines as the state appeals.

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