New District Lines, Same Controversy

Apr 28, 2017

Alabama Representative John Knight, (D) Montgomery, Ala.

Black lawmakers in the Alabama Legislature are criticizing new district lines that are being drawn after a federal court ruled that Republicans relied too heavily on race last time.

Rep John Knight, a Montgomery Democrat, says the new proposal is unacceptable. Back in January, federal judges ordered Alabama lawmakers to redistrict after ruling that 12 districts in the state were gerrymandered.

The ruling came after the Legislative Black Caucus filed a lawsuit, saying African-Americans were "stacked and packed" into designated districts. Knight said lawmakers could land back in court if a compromise isn't reached.

Reapportionment Chairman Sen. Gerald Dial says the new map corrects the problems found by the court.

One sticking point could be partisan control of Jefferson County. Democrats want an even split. Republicans would hold the majority under their proposal.