On June 2, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v State, 13-895, and its companion case, Alabama Democratic Conference v Alabama, 13-1138. The issue is the 2011 redistricting carried out by the Alabama legislature, for state legislative districts. The lower 3-judge U.S. District Court had upheld the boundaries last year.
The plaintiffs argue that the legislature deliberately packed as many African-American voters into the majority African-American districts, so as to limit the number of districts in which such voters have power and influence. Here are the “questions presented” for each of the two cases. The U.S. Supreme Court wants to hear arguments on issue #2 from 13-895, and issue #1 from 13-1138.
If the state loses this lawsuit, there will probably be special legislative elections in 2015 or 2016. Normally Alabama only elects state legislators in midterm years, and none in presidential years. Thanks to Rick Hasen for this news and to Scotusblog for the links.