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Steven T. Marshall
Alabama Attorney General www.ago.alabama.gov

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Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 October 13, 2017

ATTORNEY GENERAL STEVE MARSHALL HAILS FEDERAL COURT RULING UPHOLDING ALABAMA’S REDRAWN LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS

(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Steve Marshall hailed a federal court's decision to side with the State of Alabama and reject objections from the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus to three recently redrawn legislative districts affecting Jefferson County.

In January of this year, a three-judge federal court held that 12 of Alabama’s legislative districts were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders.  The Legislature re-drew the Senate and House plans to address the court’s decision.  Thereafter, the plaintiffs were given the opportunity to lodge any objections.

In an order dated October 12, 2017, the court recognized that one set of plaintiffs had no objection to the revised plans, and it rejected the objections made by the ALBC plaintiffs. 

The court had previously found fault with majority black districts, and the ALBC plaintiffs had no objections to those districts as re-drawn.  Instead, the ALBC plaintiffs raised new claims of racial and partisan gerrymandering as to three white districts – House Districts 14 and 16 and Senate District 5 – including one that had not been re-drawn at all.  The court rejected those claims because the ALBC plaintiffs could not demonstrate an injury and thus lacked standing, a legal prerequisite to pursuing their claims.  Alternatively, the court rejected the partisan gerrymandering claim for failure to provide an adequate standard for evaluating the claim. 

In the same order, the court also rejected the motion of two voters to intervene because that motion was untimely.

The litigation was filed in 2012 and went to trial in 2013.  After the trial, the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court and there were lengthy proceedings on remand.

“I am glad that this litigation has come to an end, and the State house and senate districts that the Alabama Legislature enacted this year have withstood legal challenge,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall.  “This court decision should remove any uncertainty over the status of these legislative districts.”

Attorney General Marshall commended Solicitor General Andrew Brasher for his outstanding work in defending the State’s case.

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