The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered Alabama officials to redraw the state’s congressional map to allow an additional Black majority district to account for the fact that the state is 27% Black.
The decision – that affords additional opportunities for minority voters to elect the candidate of their choice – comes as a surprise given the conservative majority on the court. Alabama currently has seven congressional districts, with six represented by Republicans.
Supporters of voting rights had feared that the court was going to make it harder for minorities to challenge maps under Section 2 of the historic Voting Rights Act.
Chief Justice John Roberts penned the opinion for a 5-4 majority, siding with the court’s three liberals. Justice Brett Kavanaugh agreed with the key parts of the holding, providing the fifth vote.
In recent years, Section 2 has been instrumental in paving the way for minority voters to more fully participate in the political process