Redistricting Debate Stretches Into Early Hours

May 18, 2017

Republicans are pushing toward a redistricting vote over the objections of House Democrats as Alabama lawmakers burned plenty of midnight oil last night.

The House of Representatives met until nearly 4 a.m. this morning. Representatives will resume debate later this morning after lawmakers get a few hours of sleep.

Republicans have the votes to approve the proposed new legislative district lines. But black lawmakers in the House are once again using delaying tactics to protest the plan. They argue the new districts diminish the influence of black voters statewide.

They plan to ask for the bill to be read aloud once again, a process that is expected to take about eight hours.

Federal judges ordered state lawmakers in Alabama to redraw boundaries after ruling Republicans had improperly made race a predominant factor in creating those districts.

Republican leaders say they are confident the new plan addresses the problems found by the court. Black caucus members argue it makes minimal changes and will ultimately land them back in federal court.