Federal court strikes down 12 AL legislative districts
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA/AP) - Federal judges have struck down 12 of Alabama's legislative districts saying Republicans relied too heavily on race when drawing district lines.
The three-judge panel ruled Friday in the long-running lawsuit over the legislative districts, according to the Associated Press. The judges say 12 districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered, and they blocked the Alabama Legislature from using them in future elections. The panel upheld 24 more challenged districts.
Below are the districts listed as being unconstitutional:
- District 32, represented by Rep. Barbara Boyd, D-Anniston
- District 53, represented by Rep. Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville
- District 54, represented by Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham
- District 70, represented by Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa
- District 71, represented by Rep. A.J. McCampbell, D-Demopolis
- District 77, represented by Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery
- District 82, represented by Rep. Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee
- District 85, represented by Rep. Dexter Grimsley, D-Newville
- District 99, represented by Rep. James Buskey, D-Mobile
- District 20, represented by Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham
- District 26, represented by Senate Minority Leader Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery
- District 28, represented by Sen. Billy Beasley, D-Clayton
The judges have scheduled a February 14th status conference to discuss how to move forward with the redrawing of the districts. A review of the districts was ordered in 2015.
Following the ruling, House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) released the following statement:
"We are happy with the ruling from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that twelve current legislative districts are unconstitutional due to racial gerrymandering. We have known since these districts were drawn that they were unconstitutional. Today's ruling highlights the need to take the politics out of drawing legislative districts and instead, rely on an independent, non-partisan commission. We look forward to working with the leadership to quickly solve this issue so that the 2018 elections take place without controversy or conflict."
We will add more reaction as it becomes available.
Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.