Rep. Chestnut shares his opinion on Redistricting

Published 1:42 pm Monday, July 10, 2023

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Rep. Prince Chestnut gave his opinion of  the Legislature to redraw Alabama’s congressional district map.

Governor Kay Ivey called a special session that starts July 17.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 8 that the current map, with one majority Black district out of seven, likely violates the Voting Rights Act. A three-judge federal court has given the state until July 21 to draw a new congressional map.

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It takes at least five days to pass legislation, so the July 17 start gives lawmakers the minimum number of days to approve a plan.

“Basically, the lawyers for Alabama argued that the Supreme Court should simply ignore multiple decades of legal precedent and eliminate a law duly passed by Congress,” Chestnut said. “The Supreme Court followed the law on this one and respected Congress, which was what it should have done.

Chestnut continued: “The decision in this case is a testament to the lawyers who were able to bring the case and pinpoint the issues to the federal courts. With fair representation in Congress, all of Alabama can benefit as we can receive our fair share of federal money no matter which party controls the White House.”

District 7 is the only majority Black district, as it has been since 1992. Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Selma, represents the district. District 7 will stay a majority Black district under the 12 proposed plaintiffs maps posted online by the reapportionment committee.

Sewell said last month that this step is a big deal.

“It is going to force the Alabama Legislature to draw a new congressional districting map by July 21,” Sewell said. The ruling does not say that we have to have two majority minorities districts. The fight for voting rights is the fight of a lifetime. We’ve made progress, but if we are not vigilant about advancing it, we will lose it.”