Alabama Asks SCOTUS To Revoke Lower Court Order

The state of Alabama is petitioning the Supreme Court, asking justices to allow the new congressional lines that Republicans drew to remain in place for now.

On Monday, the petition to the high court was made, seeking a temporary injunction so that Republicans can continue to fight a lower court order that’s requiring the state to create another congressional district where Black voters are either a majority or almost a majority.

Alabama already lost a Supreme Court case earlier in the year regarding redistricting, but this is another appeal the state is pursuing. They are hoping that the newest version of the GOP map will end up being approved by the justices on the high court.

A three-judge panel of an appeals court blocked Alabama from using the latest districts that the GOP drew up for the elections set to take place later this year. The panel also directed a special master who will be appointed by the court to propose new congressional lines for Alabama.

In appealing to the Supreme Court, Alabama is asking for a stay on that ruling.

In the ruling, the three-judge panel of the appeals court said lawmakers in Alabama deliberately defied the directive they were given to create a second district that is majoritively Black, or close to majoritively Black. The judges wrote they were “deeply troubled” that instead, the state created another map that “does not provide the remedy we said federal law requires.”

The attorney general in Alabama requested that the Supreme Court justices put that order on hold while they work on an appeal, “so that millions of Alabama voters are not soon districted into that court-ordered racial gerrymander.”

In the state’s request that was sent from the attorney general’s office to conservative Justice Clarence Thomas – who’s responsible for all emergency requests coming out of the southeast – they wrote:

“Race-based redistricting at the expensive of traditional principles ‘bears an uncomfortable resemblance to policial apartheid.’”

In making those remarks, the attorney general’s office was referencing an opinion the Supreme Court gave in 1992 about a case that involved racial gerrymandering.

Officials in Alabama are asking that the Supreme Court issue the stay before October 3. That date is when the district court scheduled the next hearing, at which the map that was drawn up by the court would be selected.

In criticizing the continued fight from Alabama Republicans, Eric Holder – a former U.S. attorney general who’s the current chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee – compared the actions that the state is taking to those of George Wallace.

In 1963, Wallace, who was a segregationist serving as Alabama’s governor, infamously tried to prevent Black students from entering the University of Alabama.

Holder said:

“This is a shameful and arrogant continuation of a sordid history in Alabama that denies equal rights to Black Alabamians, no matter how the United States Supreme Court rules.”

In June, the high court already upheld the findings of the three-judge panel regarding the prior congressional map Alabama had drawn. That map only had one district being majoritively Black out of the seven total the state has, even though Alabama is 27% Black.