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Opinion | The Racial Redistricting of Alabama



The Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in an election case from Alabama—a case that could decide how far the federal courts can go when they require state legislatures to consider race in drawing boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts.

At issue is Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits states from abridging on the basis of race the right to vote. The plaintiffs in this current case, Merrill v. Milligan—along with those in a companion case, Merrill v. Caster—are legislators and advocacy groups that claim the VRA requires the state to consider race as a major factor in mapping districts, while Alabama claims that maps should be drawn on a race-neutral basis.

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