In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme court determined on Thursday (June 8) that the map was in violation of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in voting, per Reuters. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the ruling and was joined by fellow conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the court's three liberal members Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson.
A map setting boundaries of Alabama's seven U.S. House of Representatives districts was previously approved by the Republican-controlled state legislature in 2021. However, the map only included one-majority Black district while Black people make up 27 percent of the state's population.
Black voters and advocacy groups challenged the map before the Supreme Court, alleging that the state was in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Acts Right, "a provision aimed at countering measures that result in racial bias in voting even absent racist intent," per Reuters. The challengers argued that Alabama's map diluted Black voting power by concentrating most of their votes into one district.
Following Thursday's rulling, Abha Khanna, who argued the case on behalf on the challengers, applauded the court's decision.
"Alabama's current congressional map systematically dilutes the voting power of Black Alabamians, in clear violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act," Khanna said. "Thankfully, the court today identified Alabama's redistricting scheme as a textbook violation of the landmark civil rights law."