Alabama’s bid to pause a court order requiring the state to redraw its congressional map was denied Thursday evening, setting the potential for the Supreme Court to quickly intervene in case.
“We discern no basis for a finding that this case is the extraordinary case in which we must allow an election to proceed under a map that we have determined – on the basis of a substantial evidentiary record – very likely violates the Voting Rights Act,” a panel of three federal judges said. The panel includes two appointees of former President Donald Trump.
Earlier this week, Alabama was ordered to redraw its congressional map after the regime it adopted last year, using data from the 2020 Census, was found in two cases to have likely violated the Voting Rights Act.
The order gives the legislature 14 days to draw a new map that includes “two districts in which Black voters either comprise a voting-age majority or something quite close to it.”
If Alabama’s congressional map is redrawn, it will likely lead to Democrats gaining a seat in the House from Alabama this November.
“This decision is a win for Alabama’s black voters, who have been denied equal representation for far too long,” former US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement released by the National Redistricting Foundation, which it said had supported the plaintiffs in the case before the district judge.
“The court’s decision reminds us that the moral arc of the universe does indeed bend toward justice – but only when enough people join together and pull it toward justice,” Holder added.
This is the second congressional map blocked by judges during this round of redistricting. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that that state’s new map was a partisan gerrymander that violated the state constitution.
CNN’s Ethan Cohen and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.