A group backed by Democratic former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder launched a legal campaign Wednesday in an effort to create more black congressional districts in three Southern states: Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana.
The group, the National Redistricting Foundation, claims the current congressional maps violate a section of the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against black voters by not allowing them an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice to the U.S. House of Representatives. They seek to block the three states from holding any further congressional elections under the current maps that were approved in 2011.
Alabama 7th District U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, who represents the state’s only majority-minority congressional district, applauded the lawsuits.
“I applaud today’s effort by the National Redistricting Foundation to challenge the underrepresentation of African American voters in Alabama,” said Sewell. “Generations of Alabamians have fought tirelessly for equal voting rights, and I support all efforts to guarantee fair representation and access to the polls. More than fifty years after the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, our work to prevent voter discrimination and unfair electoral practices is not over. Our vote is our voice, and protecting the vote for all Americans must remain a top priority.”