Alabama asks court to back GOP-backed redistricting plan

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Alabama asks court to back GOP-backed redistricting plan 26 Jul 2012 Alabama’s attorney general filed a lawsuit Thursday asking a federal court to approve a redistricting plan for his Legislature without requiring the plan to go through the U.S. Justice Department for approval to make sure it doesn’t discriminate against minority voters. The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment from a three-judge panel of U.S. District Court in Washington finding that the plan approved by the Alabama Legislature during a special session in May does not deny or abridge the right to vote based on race or color. Democrats in the Legislature have complained that the plan passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature was written to favor Republicans and packed black voters in some districts while leaving them with little influence in other districts. Senate Minority Leader Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, said the attorney general’s office wants to avoid the justice department’s preclearance process because the Legislature “passed a racially gerrymandered plan.”

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