Alabama’s method of electing judges has been challenged

african american judge court gavel
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A federal judge will hear arguments Wednesday in a voting rights lawsuit challenging Alabama’s system of statewide elections for appellate courts, a practice that has resulted in all-white judges.

The 2016 lawsuit contends the method dilutes the voting power of African Americans and results in all-white appellate courts in a state where one in four people is black.

The lawsuit was filed by the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP and four black voters.

Alabama is asking a judge to uphold the statewide elections. State lawyers said if black candidates have been unsuccessful in recent years, it’s because they are running as Democrats in a red state.

Alabama’s appellate courts are currently all-white and all-Republican. There have been three African American judges on the state Supreme Court.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.