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U.S. Supreme Court

SCOTUS to consider redistricting plan that packed minorities into districts they already controlled

Posted Jun 3, 2014 11:39 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A redistricting plan in Alabama challenged for alleged racial gerrymandering will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court granted cert on Monday in two Alabama cases that will be consolidated. Challengers claim the state packed minorities into districts that already had African American majorities, diluting minority influence elsewhere, report the New York Times, the Washington Post and SCOTUSblog.

The challengers include the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus and the Alabama Democratic Conference.

Alabama claims the redistricting was partly justified by a provision of the Voting Rights Act that required Justice Department approval for a change in voting procedures. The preclearance provision was struck down last year in another Alabama case, after the redistricting plan was drawn up.

Stanford University law professor Nathaniel Persily told the Washington Post that the case is the first in which Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. will consider the question of how race may be considered in redistricting decisions.

The cases are Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama, and Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama.

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