The United States Supreme has ruled that the state of Alabama will not have to redraw its congressional district map to more accurately represent the state's population of Black voters.
The 5-4 ruling on Monday (February 7) stopped a lower court's order that would've forced Republican state officials to redraw the map and create a second district favorable for a Black candidate under the Voting Rights Act.
Last month, a panel of three federal judges ordered that the map be redrawn where there was more than one district with majority Black voting demographic. If the map remains the same, there will only be one such district.
Chief Justice John Roberts Jr sided with the high court's three liberal justices in the ruling, but the conservative majority –– Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito Jr, and Neil Gorsuch –– won the decision, delivering a blow to voting rights advocates.
The court ruling comes as voting rights advocates across the country continue to push for two pieces of key legislation that would provide voter protections at the federal level.
Advocates says that such protections would include blocking drastic changes to congressional maps that disproportionately make elections harder for Black candidates and voters alike.