Alabama has several important upcoming dates and deadlines to fulfill the ongoing redistricting process needed for a new congressional map.
On June 8, the Supreme Court decided in Allen v. Milligan that Alabama must create a new congressional map because the 2020 map diluted Black voting power and violated the Voting Right Acts. This ruling prompted the redistricting process.
The Supreme Court’s decision reinforced a district court’s prior injunction and findings that, “Black Alabamians enjoy virtually zero success in statewide elections.”
The first redistricting meeting was held on June 27 accompanied by a public hearing to give Alabama citizens a chance to voice their input on how the map should be drawn. During the first hearing, plaintiffs in the Allen v. Milligan decision reinforced their support for a plan they submitted that they believe will best remedy the issues related to the map that was found to be at fault.
The plan from the plaintiffs will include two majority Black districts in Districts 2 and 7. Alabama currently has a Black population of over 25 percent but only one majority Black district. The plan also has support from the Legal Defense Fund who stated the plan will best comply with the demands of the Supreme Court and district court.
According to Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, a special master may inevitably be the one to redraw the maps because Republicans will not be willing to approve a map that likely results in a colleague losing a seat.
“It’s a hard choice,” England told the Alabama Politics This Week Podcast. “Just as a casual observer, I imagine it would have to be a very hard decision to draw maps that determined which of my colleagues didn’t return. That’s a hard choice.”
There are still several key dates to keep up with for individuals following the process. Here is a timeline of upcoming meetings and deadline in the redistricting process:
- July 7 at 5 p.m.: Deadline for all plans to be submitted to the Reapportionment Committee.
- July 13 at 1:30 p.m.: State House Room 200; Committee meeting and public hearing.
- July 17: the redistricting special session begins after Gov. Kay Ivey set the date.
- July 21: The deadline to submit a new congressional map to the district court.
- August 14: Hearing at Hugo L. Black United States Courthouse. Located at 1729 5th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203.
The new congressional map could likely send another Democratic lawmaker to Congress during the 2024 election cycle. Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Selma, is currently the lone Democrat representing Alabama in Congress.