By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on September 5, 2023
In Dillard v. Crenshaw, 640 F. Supp. 1347 (1986), a federal court in Montgomery, Alabama described the long, ugly, and documented history of Alabama’s harsh and oppressive discrimination against its black citizens in every aspect of public life.
According to the court, Alabama had an “unrelenting historical agenda, spanning from the late 1800s to the 1980s, to keep its black citizens economically, socially, and politically downtrodden, from the cradle to the grave.” (p. 1357).
No area has been more problematic for blacks in the state than achieving voting rights and access to the political process, which the court in Dillard v. Crenshaw described in excruciating detail. (pp. 1356 to 1360).
Today, a three-judge federal court in Birmingham issued an Order striking down Alabama's latest map of congressional election districts because the state failed to obey a prior court order directing the state to draw a second black Congressional district, as required by the anti-vote dilution provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
On June 8, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the three-judge court’s prior order to mandate a new Congressional redistricting plan.
Led by Attorney General Steve Marshall and Alabama Solicitor General Edmund LaCour,
Alabama openly defied the prior Voting Rights Act orders issued by both the three-judge court and U.S. Supreme Court.
Today, the three-judge panel said they are "deeply troubled that the State enacted a map that the State readily admits does not provide the remedy we said federal law requires."
Once again, the state of Alabama is proudly engaging in “massive resistance” to the protection of voting rights for its black citizens.
Once again, the state is championing the openly hostile, anti-black agenda described in Dillard v. Crenshaw.
Once again, Alabama's white constitutional officers, state legislators, local elected officials, political advocacy groups, and corporate leaders have fallen silent on the subject of protecting voting rights for blacks in the state.
In the end, the state of Alabama will lose this court battle and the state's taxpayers will be forced to pay millions of dollars in legal fees to the lawyers for the plaintiffs and the court appointed lawyers and experts who are now charged with redrawing a Congressional redistricting plan that complies with the mandates of the Voting Rights Acts.