Federal judges have tossed out lawsuits challenging the new redistricting plan for the state of Alabama, which effectively clears the way for the new districts to be used in next year’s election cycle.
According to the Alabama Political Reporter, a three-judge panel in federal district court in Alabama’s Middle District decided the lawsuits brought by the Alabama Democratic Conference and Alabama’s Legislative Black Caucus were untimely and lacked standing in the specific districts.
Judges also say the plaintiffs failed to provide any standard by which it could be determined that the districts being challenged were gerrymandered on either a racial or partisan basis.
Alabama Senator Jim McClendon was pleased with the decision, saying “I’m happy to put this behind me, and I do believe this ruling does that.” McClendon was part of the group of lawmakers that worked on the state’s redistricting effort. In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that some of Alabama’s legislative districts relied too heavily on race. So 25 Senate districts and 70 House districts were redrawn.
The new maps were approved this Spring amid widespread protest from Alabama's Democratic legislators.