Plaintiffs head to DC to hear Supreme Court take up Alabama redistricting case

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 5:01 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the Alabama court case, Milligan v. Merrill, over the state’s Congressional District Map.

To mark the occasion, the plaintiffs are headed to Washington and invited the public to join them. Khadidah Stone with the Power on the Line Movement is planning what she hopes will be a nationwide movement.

“We’re not the only state that is going up to D.C.,” said Stone.

According to their website, there are multiple pick-up points in Alabama as well as Florida, Georgia, Louisana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Each state has its voting rights or redistricting cases but shares a similar goal.

“The general goal for the entire power on the line movement, we’re asking for a 28th constitutional movement to protect voting rights for all people,” said Stone. “The second thing, we’re asking that the John Lewis Freedom to Vote Act be reinstated to law.”

The group plans to leave on Wednesday with events planned for the week leading up to the Oct. 4 hearing.

Evan Milligan, a plaintiff in the case, says the trip and the case will have a large impact, particularly in section two of the Voting Rights Act.

“That’s what the federal government, and really, citizens around the country can use to hold state governments, local governments to account when there are instances where there is some use of racial bias in the design of our election system,” he said.”

Sen. Jim McClendon chairs the state’s reapportionment committee and says they didn’t take into account race when they drew the maps because they cant.

“The court says you can’t use race, and now what plaintiffs are saying is we should use race. So it’s probably up to the Supreme Court to figure this one,” said McClendon.

Milligan disagrees.

“Laws don’t, per se say don’t incorporate race, particularly the section two of the Voting Rights Act,” said Milligan. “What it does, though, is it sets up a standard by which courts are used to court should assess the ways that governments may incorporate race into their design of voting, voting maps.

Milligan says the trip is open to the public, you can register to attend here.

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