The ruling is hugely consequential

Here’s a piece of good news at last – racial gerrymandering is racial gerrymandering.

Alabama Republicans illegally discriminated against Black voters when they drew the state’s seven new congressional districts last year and must quickly redraw the plan, a federal court has ruled.

The ruling is hugely consequential, a blunt assessment of the way lawmakers use their power to draw district lines to dilute the influence of Black and other minority voters.

Pending lawsuits in North Carolina and Texas similarly allege that lawmakers illegally drew districts on the basis of race.

It sounds as if this could be the undoing of the Shelby ruling. Unless of course the Supremes get involved.

The seventh congressional district in Alabama, which stretches from Birmingham to the rural Black Belt, has consistently elected a Black Democrat to Congress for 30 years. Nearly 56% of the voting-age population in the district is Black. The state’s other six districts have all been represented by white Republicans.

The plaintiffs in the case, including four voters, two state senators and several civil rights groups, argued that Alabama Republicans packed as many Black voters into the district as possible – about a third of Alabama’s Black population – in order to weaken their influence in other district across the state.

Let’s hope the ruling stands.

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