SCOTUS Rejects Alabama Legislature’s Districting Plan

Yet again, the Court has told the state that it has to draw lines that accommodate its Black citizens.

Photo by SLT

Breaking via CNN: Supreme Court rejects Alabama’s attempt to avoid creating a second Black majority congressional district.

The one-line order reflects that the feelings on the court haven’t changed since June when a 5-4 Supreme Court affirmed a lower court that had ordered the state to redraw its seven-seat congressional map to include a second majority-Black district or “something quite close to it.”

The piece does not quote the line, but states that there were no dissents.

This is in reaction to the state legislature acting in defiance of their previous order. See Alabama Remains Defiant.

As such, the state is going to have to redraw the lines and it enhances the likelihood that the state’s House delegation will be split 5-2 instead of 6-1. As I have written previously, the 5-2 split is closer to being representative of the state than is 6-1 (see, for example, More on Alabama Districts).

Yesterday, reported Court-ordered Alabama congressional maps add 2nd opportunity district for Black voters which includes some proposed maps.

FILED UNDER: 2024 Election, Democracy, Law and the Courts, Supreme Court, US Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Michael Cain says:

    Just as a hypothetical, what happens if Alabama conducts its election using the district lines rejected by the Supreme Court?

  2. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Justice Roberts will write a strongly worded letter and the Wisconsin GOP will be put in double secret probation.

  3. DrDaveT says:

    I’m waiting for the Alabama legislature to compromise by proposing that majority black districts count as three fifths of seat.

  4. Beth says:

    I’m not surprised they did this. The only thing they are more interested in than protecting rich bigots is protecting their own power. I could have seen Thomas and Alito dissenting, but the rest of the Republicans on there knew they couldn’t have states giving them a blatant FU to them. Could you imagine the effect of CA or NY told them to pound sand over an opinion? They can’t allow that to happen.

  5. gVOR10 says:

    Any reason to think AL GOPs won’t run the usual play of stalling until they can go to the courts and say it’s too close to the election to print new ballots? Any reason to think they won’t get away with it again? Any chance the courts would actually punish anyone?

  6. Scott says:

    @Beth: Just my cynical guess but I bet there are forces/entities/what have you who are plotting to overturn Marbury v. Madison.

  7. gVOR10 says:

    I may have been too cynical. @Scott: Kevin Drum says they’re apparently doing a special master and court appointed cartographer. If this comes to pass, yeah them.

  8. Hal_10000 says:

    Ultimately, Jackson was right. The Court has no real power to enforce their decisions. They rely on states respecting their decisions and the Constitutional system, which the Republicans increasingly are not doing.

  9. Sleeping Dog says:


    Congress could refuse to to seat the Alabama delegation, but I struggle to see that happening.

  10. Argon says:

    Clearly the Alabama legislature didn’t fly Clarence to enough vacation spots or sponsor enough Federalist Society ‘gatherings’.

  11. gVOR10 says:

    @Argon: This order is unsigned, but the original case was decided 5-4. The FS apparently did enough for Thomas, as well as Alito, Gorsuch, and Barrett.

    Is there any way Letitia James can file a civil suit against Thomas and/or the Federalist Society for bribery?

  12. Kathy says:


    Maybe not.

    But for his second term, Biden should get her, or Fani Willis, to replace Garland as AG.

  13. DK says:


    Just my cynical guess but I bet there are forces/entities/what have you who are plotting to overturn Marbury v. Madison.

    The call is coming from inside the Court.

  14. Tony W says:

    @Hal_10000: It’s hard to imagine that in the nearly 200 years since Jackson’s famous FU to the court, we have not done a damn thing about it.

    Yet, here we are.

  15. All,

    The lower court will be imposing a new map, so the state is not going to be able to defy the Court, although it certainly tried.

    More when I have time.