I wonder because I watched most of today’s reapportionment committee hearing, and heard a lot of discussion, excuses, and thinly veiled attempts to hide injustices among some of the Republicans on the committee. And I can’t help but wonder how some of these people justify their actions and words either to themselves or, God forbid, to their children who look to them for direction in this world.
Because we make no mistake about it – the current congressional map Alabama uses is unfair. We all know it’s unfair. Pretending otherwise is a childish game that no one takes seriously.
Even the current US Supreme Court has looked into the Alabama maps and said they are clearly discriminatory towards black voters. The state has ordered the production of a map in which two districts present the majority and minority vote ratios or something very close to them.
The Supreme Court, along with every federal court along the way, has said Alabama maps need to be redrawn because they specifically weaken the voting power of black Alabamaans.
And I did it on purpose.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. Alabama’s electorate is 27 percent black, but it had only one of seven congressional districts in which black voters had enough voting power to influence the outcome of the election.
The Supreme Court ordered state legislators to fix this by creating a second district in which black voters would have a majority or “something very close to it”.
After receiving a number of proposed maps, including a very good map drawn by prosecutors in the case that started it all, Alabama Republicans sat down on Monday and mapped out a map with one majority-Black district.
If you’re filing in your country, that’s the same number of majority and minority districts as the current map that the Supreme Court asked the state to fix.
I know we’re bad at math in this case, but we literally had to add 1 plus 1 in this case. And somehow we still end up with 1.
The Republicans’ “communities of interest” map is an absurd choice. The supposed second minority district in that map—District 2—has a voting-age black population of just 42 percent.
No soul walked through the door of the committee room on Monday and actually believed that this map would be accepted by the Federal Court. They all know that he will be rejected. And that’s the plan.
To have the court reject their map and allow a special chief appointed by the federal court to simply draw a proper map of the state. And again, in the pages of history, an Alabama federal court will be forced to do the right thing.
Because our legislators are completely unable to do so.
Which brings me back to my original question: when did some people just start pretending that justice is a boolean idea that doesn’t really apply if you’re trying to win some election?
There is no discussion about what happens in this situation. Republican lawmakers in Alabama attempted to group black voters into a single district in order to create a map that would allow only one district to have a minority majority. They did this despite census figures telling them such a move would be patently unfair. They did this despite knowing full well that such a map would disenfranchise thousands of citizens, stripping them of the one thing that means most in our representative democracy.
And even when I told a very, very conservative court that the maps were unfair, the same Republican lawmakers, rather than correcting their bad maps, chose instead to submit a map they knew would be rejected. Obviously, the map they know is still unfair. A map that still disenfranchised black voters.
Now, that must mean that they think a huge number of Alabama voters will support it. That Alabama voters want them to be unfair. That Alabama voters are, at best, unconcerned whether our voting maps are fair to all voters and, at worst, support maps that disenfranchise black voters.
Is this correct?
Do you really not care? Have you really been pushed so far over the partisan edge that actively rooted 1950s-era discrimination in the voting booth?
Let us bear in mind here that even if the most favorable map for black voters is chosen, it will likely mean that the politician favored by black voters—in all probability a Democrat—will get a second seat in Congress, out of seven, in this state. Republicans will still hold five seats. He will remain in full control of the state house and all state offices.
but it does not matter. Even with all this power and control, they deviate from every rule and refuse to right wrongs. They will fight to the end for doing the wrong thing.
Hope the kids don’t watch.