Special to the Marion Times Standard

The Alabama legislature will begin a special session next month in order to redraw the state’s congressional districts, Gov.  Kay Ivey (R) announced Tuesday.

The announcement comes as the Supreme Court ruled this month that the state’s current congressional map  likely violates the Civil Rights Act, discriminating against Black voters by diluting their voting power.

Alabama has seven congressional districts, but only one is majority-Black despite the demographic making up 27 percent of the state. According to the court’s ruling, the state legislature must add a second majority-Black district to bring the map more in line with the state’s representative population.

Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh joined the three liberal justices in the 5-4 decision earlier this month.

The special session will begin July 17.

“It is critical that Alabama be fairly and accurately represented in Washington,” Ivey said in a statement Tuesday.

The special session is only authorized to make new maps, with Ivey saying the issue is “too urgent and too important.”

The legislature must pass new maps by July 21. It takes five days to pass legislation in the Alabama legislature, giving them the minimum number of days to pass the new maps.

A committee will begin discussing new maps next week, according to officials.

Plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case  proposed a slate of new maps  for the legislature to consider, all of which would add a second majority-Black district.

Alabama District 1 is the only majority-Black district in the state as of now, and each proposal makes District 2 the second majority-Black district. In the proposals, the new Districts 1 and 2 would straddle the southern coast of the state.

(Source: The Hill Newsletter)