New Alabama map could help Democrats gain control of the House

“Extreme MAGA Republicans…understand that they have difficulty winning elections or upholding their majority in the House without gerrymandering congressional districts illegally,” said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

The Supreme Court rejected Alabama’s plea to keep a discriminatory congressional map in place and reinforced the order to have a special master redraw it after Republicans failed twice to comply with constitutional standards.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., told theGrio, “Extreme MAGA Republicans here in Washington, in Alabama, and throughout the country understand that they have difficulty winning elections or upholding their majority in the House without gerrymandering congressional districts illegally.”

US House Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speaks during a press conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on September 29, 2023. The US government began on September 28 informing workers of an impending shutdown that could see millions of federal employees and military personnel temporarily sent home or working without pay, unless Congress reaches a funding deal. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

In a previous interview, Svante Myrick, president of People For the American Way, told theGrio, “The Republicans in Alabama are presenting as many hurdles as they can, including closing polling locations, eliminating voting hours and early voting…to limit Black voters in the upcoming election.”

He said Republicans are sending the message, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

“Fortunately, the judicial system overruled them,” added the former mayor of Ithaca, New York.

Some experts believe a new map could help Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives during the 2024 elections.

Earlier this week, the court-appointed special master submitted proposals for a new congressional map that does not violate the civil rights of Alabama’s Black voters under the Voting Rights Act.

A special hearing for the three-judge panel to examine the special master’s proposed map is slated for Oct. 3.

This latest development comes months after the Supreme Court upheld a three-judge panel’s ruling to have Alabama lawmakers redraw its congressional map to include two districts where Black voters can elect a candidate of their choice.

On Sept. 5, the Supreme Court issued a court order to have a special master redraw the congressional map.

The order stated “that the appropriate remedy is a congressional redistricting plan that includes either an additional majority-Black congressional district, or an additional district in which Black voters otherwise have an opportunity to elect a representative of their choice.”

On Thursday, Jeffries told theGrio that “The Supreme Court has been definitive.”

FILE – A map of a GOP proposal to redraw Alabama’s congressional districts is displayed at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., July 18, 2023. The Supreme Court is allowing work to proceed on a new Alabama congressional map with greater representation for Black voters, rejecting the state’s plea to retain Republican-drawn lines struck down by a lower court. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler, File)

“The Alabama map violates the Voting Rights Act,” he said.

“In fact, I believe there will be other decisions that are made in places like Louisiana, in Georgia, and beyond to show that the Republican efforts to engage in unlawful gerrymandering, particularly as it relates to communities and districts of color, will be stopped dead in its tracks,” Jeffries added.

Myrick told theGrio that the Supreme Court’s refusal to adhere to Alabama’s GOP lawmakers’ request to keep the discriminatory map in place has been a victory for Black Alabamians.

“Voters go to the ballot box thinking of who’s going to improve their pocketbook, improve their streets, and keep them safe,” he said.

However, he emphasized this case illustrates why it is important for voters to “also think about which judges will be appointed by the politicians they vote for.”

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