Alabama Redistricting 2000

 

 

Alabama’s Political Lineup

 

1991

2001

Governor

R

D

State Senate

28D, 7R

24D, 11R

State House

82D, 23R

68D, 37R

US Senators

2D

2R

US Reps

5D, 2R

5R, 2D

Redistricting Deadline

The 1st regular legislative session following the decennial census. The regular session convened in 2001 before census figures were reported. A special session was called in June 2001 to consider redistricting plans and adjourned on Monday, July 2nd. Senate Bill 2 and House Bills 1 and 2, pertaining to legislative redistricting, were passed and delivered to the Governor. To obtain Act Numbers/status of these, go to Legislation
  .

Who’s in Charge of Redistricting?

The legislature. A bipartisan interim committee of 22 representatives (11 from the house, and 11 from the senate) is formed to develop a redistricting plan for recommendation to the legislature. The governor has veto power over both the state legislative and congressional plans.

Districting Principles

PrincipleCongressionalState Legis.

Compactness

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+

Contiguity

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+

Political subdivisions

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Communities of interest

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Cores of prior districts

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Protect incumbents



VRA § 5

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+

+ = required                - = prohibited

Public Access

The committee meetings of the legislature are open to the public. The special interim committee of the legislature also has public meetings around the state in each congressional district to hear the concerns of the citizens. Notice of these meetings is given via television, newspaper, and other forms of mass media.

Political Landscape

All plans in recent history have been court-ordered due to a failure on the part of the legislature to enact their own plans. The redistricting plan adopted after the 1990 census was first proposed by Republicans (the minority party in the legislature, then and now, but at that time holding the governor's mansion) and ordered into effect by the federal courts. That plan moved black residents out of the 2nd and 6th districts, which had been competitive for Democrats. Both the 2nd and 6th are now Republican districts. In 2001, the Democrats now control the governor’s mansion, in addition to their large majorities in the legislature. 

Legal Issues

Legal challenges abounded after the 1990 round of redistricting. The legislature failed to come up with a redistricting plan before the 1992 elections, and a federal district court imposed its own plan until the legislature could adopt a plan and have it precleared by the Justice Department (under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act). After much litigation in Alabama state court and in federal court, voters in a majority-white district successfully challenged four state senate and three state house legislative districts in which they resided. A U.S. district court declared their districts unconstitutional racial gerrymanders in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because white voters had been packed into these districts in order to create adjacent majority-black districts. Republicans recently preceded the special redistricting session by filing a lawsuit asking the court to take over redistricting because the regular session ended with redrawing lines.

Irregularly Shaped District
District 6

Irregularly Shaped District
District 7

· 90% white; 9% black; 1% Asian; 1% Hispanic

· Republican incumbent (elected 1984) ·Smallest but most prosperous district in state; includes the whiter and wealthier parts of Birmingham

· 32% white; 67% black; 0% Asian; 0% Hispanic

· Includes inner-city sections of Birmingham, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa, as well as some low-income, rural communities

· Democratic incumbent (elected 1992)

Contact Information

Bonnie Shanholtzer 
Director of Reapportionment 
11 South Union Street 
State House, Room 811 
Montgomery, AL 36130-4600 
334/242-7941 
334/242-2277 Fax
district@mindspring.com