Listen to this article here

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama legislators will hold their first meeting next week to determine what the state’s new congressional map should look like after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state’s existing plan unlawfully diluted the power of Black voters.

The chairmen of the Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment on Wednesday released a schedule for hearings and deadlines.

A three-judge panel last week gave lawmakers until July 21 to adopt a new congressional map. The deadline comes after the U.S. Supreme Court last week affirmed the panel’s finding that Alabama likely violated the Voting Rights Act with a congressional map that had only one majority Black district out of seven in a state where more than one in four residents is Black.

President Joe Biden walks across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., Sunday, March 5, 2023, to commemorate the 58th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” a landmark event of the civil rights movement. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Alabama draws new congressional map

The state must now draw a new map where Black voters comprise a majority, or close to it, in a second district.

The reapportionment committee set a June 27 public hearing, a July 7 deadline to submit plans to the committee, and another public hearing for July 13.

Hearings can be watched online at the Alabama Legislature’s website.

Lawyers for the state of Alabama told the three-judge panel last week that they were prepared for a special session beginning the week of July 17. The court would then review the plan enacted by lawmakers.

The judges tentatively set an Aug. 14 hearing date to review the new map.