Federal Court Rejects Alabama’s Effort To Stall Order For New District Map

Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore concedes defeat against his Democratic opponent Doug Jones at his election night party in the RSA Activity Center on December 12, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Moore lost the special election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate.
MONTGOMERY, AL - DECEMBER 12: John Merrill, Secretary of State of Alabama, speaks to the media in the Capitol building about the possible recount to determine the winner between Republican Senatorial candidate Roy ... MONTGOMERY, AL - DECEMBER 12: John Merrill, Secretary of State of Alabama, speaks to the media in the Capitol building about the possible recount to determine the winner between Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore and his Democratic opponent Doug Jones on December 12, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Jones has been declared the winner but Moore has not conceded and may request a recount. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MORE LESS

A panel of three federal judges on Thursday denied Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) and two GOP state lawmakers’ (R) emergency motion to pause the same panel’s order for a new district map that has two majority Black voter districts.

The judges on the panel, which includes two Trump appointees, called the request for a stay “effectively an unsupported motion for reconsideration” of the order, which the court issued in response to two lawsuits over the new Alabama map that allows only one district to have a majority of Black voters.

On Thursday, the judges reiterated their previous finding that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in arguing that the new GOP-drawn map violates Section Two of the Voting Rights Act, which bans racial discrimination in district map drawing.

“This is a straightforward Section Two case, not a legal unicorn,” the court wrote before jabbing at the defendants’ “attention-grabbing but unsupported claims” later in the filing.

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Merill and the two lawmakers’ request came after the court found on Monday that the new district map drawn by the GOP-controlled state legislature was racially gerrymandered, and ordered the legislature to create a new map in 14 days that has “two districts in which Black voters either comprise a voting-age majority or something quite close to it.”

Read the filing below:

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