It’s a matter of historical fact that Alabama’s Congressional districts have been gerrymandered in the past, but the truth is that Alabama’s lawmakers are still making laws that could disenfranchise Black voters today. Last week the Supreme Court took an important step to address and roll back those modern impediments through a decision that Impact Research partner Zac McCrary calls “as important a decision as we’ve seen in decades … as far as raw partisan politics goes.” The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Alabama voters and civil rights groups in Allen v. Milligan that a redrawn district map of Alabama restricted Black voters to limited districts to protect the state’s Republican seats in Congress. This is a huge win for voters in Alabama, all of which have the right to a fair and equitable vote.
The decision has the potential to make important changes beyond the borders of Alabama, however. This decision sets an important precedent that can be followed in similar suits brought forward by voters in states like Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas that also allege that state legislation is violating the Voting Rights Act. Time will tell if Allen v. Milligan can reshape Southern states’ representation in the nation’s capital.