Redistricting in Alabama
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|Note: Redistricting takes place every ten years after completion of the United States Census. The information here pertains to the 2010 redistricting process.|
|Redistricting in Alabama|
|Deadline:||End of 2011-2012 Session|
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|• Redistricting on Policypedia |
• State legislative and congressional redistricting after the 2010 Census
• State-by-state redistricting procedures
- 1 Process
- 2 Leadership
- 3 Census results
- 4 Congressional Maps
- 5 Legislative maps
- 6 Legal Issues
- 7 History
- 8 Constitutional explanation
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Alabama did not gain or lose any seats from the reapportionment after the 2010 census. The state population increased by more than 300,000 residents, about 7.5 percent.
The Alabama Legislative Committee on Reapportionment is responsible for drafting plans for redistricting in the state House and Senate, along with U.S. Congressional seats in Alabama and the State Board of Education. The Legislative Reapportionment Office serves as a link between the United States Census Bureau and the Alabama Legislature. During years when the legislature is not involved with redistricting, the Commission is normally made up of 6 members as follows:
- Three members of the Alabama State Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor
- Three members of the Alabama House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House
When the Legislature is involved in the redistricting process, the Committee is composed of 22 members as follows:
- One member of the House of Representatives from each U.S. congressional district
- Four at-large members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House
- One member of the Alabama Senate from each U.S. congressional district
- Four at-large members of the Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor
Citizens panel proposed
Craig Ford (D) introduced an idea to transfer redistricting authority to a nine-member citizens panel with members appointed by majority and minority parties in the legislature. However, the Republican-majority rejected the proposal.
Membership of the permanent joint legislative committee on reapportionment were announced in the first 5 days of the legislative session that began March 1, 2011. Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R) appointed 11 members from the House and Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey (R) appointed 11 from the Senate. The committee began its work on March 30.
The committee held a public meeting on March 31 to explicitly discuss the redrawing of congressional District 2. Prior to the meeting, Sen. Bryan Taylor said, "Our goal is to draw fair and reasonable districts. People usually like to have a ‘say so’ and we want them to have that. Not only do we want them to have that, but it’s required by law, so we’re going to come down and give people a chance to come to the mic and speak their mind.”
Sen. Clay Scofield said he worked hard to get on the committee and promised, “The map is going to look a lot differently. We are going to be very, very fair to everyone. In the past that hasn’t been the case. There’s been a lot of ‘gerrymandering.’ Just take a look at the map and it’s pretty easy to see.”
Senator Gerald Dial (R) introduced a resolution that would require the Alabama State Senate and Alabama House of Representatives to begin working immediately on redistricting. This marked the first time Republicans held control over redistricting.
In the November 2, 2010 general election, Republicans took control of the state Senate and House, while holding on to the Governorship. This trifecta effectively gave Republicans a great amount of control over the redistricting process. Early on, one newspaper columnist predicted the redistricting effort would be "messy" and obtain slow approval from the Department of Justice. With their new control of the legislature, Republicans had the opportunity to increase control over legislative and Congressional districts. Shannon Bridgmon, assistant professor of political science at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, pointed to a likely controversial redistricting process. "Democrats have been in charge of state Legislature over the last 12 decades, but with Republicans now in control, it will be interesting to see how partisan advantages are reflected," she said.
Republicans already controlled all but one of the U.S. House of Representatives seats in Alabama. However, with the 2nd and 5th Districts recently switching from Democratic to Republican control, speculation was these could be the boundaries that would see the most polarized changes to favor the GOP. The 7th District was likely to remain as a minority-protected seat, based on the Voting Rights Act.
On February 23, 2011, the Census Bureau shipped Alabama's local census data to the governor and legislative leaders. This data was used to guide redistricting for state and local offices. It was publicly available for downloading.
City/County population changes
These tables show the change in population in the five largest cities and counties in Alabama from 2000-2010.
Congressional maps were addressed during the 2011 regular session, rather than holding a special session, which legislators said would have been costly. The committee announced the following public hearings to take place:
- May 9 - Huntsville
- May 10 - Birmingham
- May 11 - Mobile
- May 12 - Montgomery
- May 13 - Selma
- May 18 - Montgomery
According to William Stewart, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Alabama, this was the first time legislators in Alabama used public hearings in the redistricting process. "I don’t recall this procedure being used. The Democrats just worked it out in consultation with members of the U.S. Congress and passed a plan."
Rep. Jim McClendon, co-chair of the committee, said that they planned to meet at the State House on May 18 to give preliminary approval to new Congressional and board of education maps. They then were to meet the following day to give final approval.
Debate was set to start on May 24 in the legislature over new Congressional maps.
During the May 9 meeting in Huntsville, residents spoke out against the splitting of communities via a river. Residents of Shoals implored the committee to keep Lauderdale and Colbert counties in the same Congressional District. At a meeting on May 10 in Birmingham, some residents questioned the partisan makeup of the committee. "I am concerned that the committee doesn't represent the people of the state of Alabama. The concern I have is that these lines not be gerrymandered to accommodate somebody's parochial interest," said Herb Kuntz of Cropwell.
Alabama's 7th Congressional district was featured in a Slate publication titled, "The Most Gerrymandered Congressional Districts." There were 20 districts featured from across the country.
On May 19, 2011 the joint Legislative Committee on Reapportionment voted 19-1 to send a Congressional map to the legislature. Debate began on the maps during the week of May 24, 2011. An initial plan that was introduced by the committee co-chair (and endorsed by some members of the Congressional delegation) was rejected by a 10-9 vote.
The map as introduced moved all of Morgan County into the 4th Congressional District. In exchange, nearly all of Franklin County shifted into the 5th Congressional District. At the time, Morgan County was split between the 4th and 5th Districts. According to Decatur Chamber of Commerce President John Seymour, the county commissioners and elected officials were responsible for lobbying the legislators to keep Morgan County whole. "To be together is good. We're divided now, and I don't think we get enough attention from either one [congressman]...It's critical that we can take a handful of mayors, county commissioners and go up and talk to our congressman in Washington and have a little more strength and influence," Seymour said. Meanwhile, Colbert and Lauderdale counties would have been split by the plan -- which would have marked the first separation of those counties since the Civil War.
The new map was drawn by a conference committee after the Senate and House passed differing maps on the first go-around. Critics of the legislation said the map diluted minority vote and was intended to maintain the current Congressional delegation of six Republicans and one Democrat. Of the changes to the map:
- The percentage of Black voters in the 3rd Congressional District dropped from 32 percent to 25 percent.
- Lauderdale County remained in the 5th Congressional District while Colbert County moved from the 5th to the 4th Congressional District.
- Montgomery County would have been divided among three districts -- 2nd, 3rd and 7th Congressional Districts
- All of Morgan County was now in the 5th Congressional District.
- Blount County was now split between the 4th and 6th Districts instead of being completely contained in the 6th District.
Governor signs map
Governor Robert Bentley (R) signed the Congressional redistricting map on June 8, 2011. Just before he signed it, some legislators proposed a last-second change that would have placed Hunstville in the 4th and 5th Congressional districts but left Lauderdale and Colbert counties (Shoals) combined in the 5th District. However, Governor Bentley rejected the proposal and signed the map as it was passed by the legislature. The new map was expected to strengthen the seats of the Republican delegation. At the time the delegation was made up of 6 Republicans and 1 Democrat.
Meanwhile, the legislative committee on reapportionment held public hearings throughout the state in early October to garner more feedback on the approved districts. The committee encouraged public comments to be submitted in written form in advance of the meetings.
Joe Reed, chair of the Alabama Democratic Conference, said he believed a second majority-minority district should have been drawn -- the new map had one district where the majority of voters are African-American.
On November 21, the U.S. Justice Department approved the new map.
In fall 2011, a series of public meetings were held to gauge input from citizens on the state legislative districts. A total of 21 hearings were held across the state. Redistricting could end up carrying until the 2013 session, but Gerald Dial (R), co-chair of the Senate redistricting committee, said legislators would like to finish in 2012. A special session will likely be held to avoid potential filibusters.
When will we see maps?
Rep. Jim McClendon (R), chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Reapportionment, said in February 2012 that he would like both chambers to draw new districts lines in a special session to take place in mid-May.
Possibility of lawsuits
Although maps were still a work in progress, lawmakers said they were ready to take the new maps to court if necessary once they were approved. Republican lawyer Mark Montiel said, "Legislative redistricting is going to be a political bloodbath. I am watching the districting process, and I've had some people contact me about the possibility of litigation."
However, with Republicans in charge of the process for the first time since Reconstruction, Democrats are the ones likely to file lawsuits. House Minority Leader Craig Ford said his party is prepared to go to court if the maps dilute the black vote in minority districts or show evidence of gerrymandering. Republicans have stated they have no such intentions, but, unhappy with how Congressional maps were drawn, Democrats aren't necessarily taking them at their word.
Alabama Democratic Conference Chairman Joe Reed stated, "I'm not too worried about what cookies they (Republicans) bake — we're baking our own cookies."
Amid a fury of protests by Democrats, Senate Republicans approved a House redistricting plan in the early hours of the morning of May 24, 2012 along party lines. The final vote came after an all-night session and caught Democrats off guard, who wanted to have the bill read in full. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) said he did not hear any demands that the bill be read until after the vote started and, once started, it could not be stopped. Sen. Rodger Smitherman (D) said he called for a full reading but that Marsh simply ignored him, while Senate Minority Leader Roger Bedford (D) stated Marsh "violated the state Constitution. This is the lowest point I've seen in this Senate."
On July 26, 2012, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) filed a lawsuit seeking clearance from a federal court that the state's redistricting plan for the legislature does not violate the Voting Rights Act. The lawsuit, which is a required provision of the VRA, was heard by a three-judge District Court.
Ultimately, the US Department of Justice approved of the new maps on October 5, 2012.
Senator Irons Controversy
Democratic State Senator Tammy Irons claimed in May 2012 that she was offered a "great district" if she would switch parties and run as a Republican. Irons would not say which Republican offered her this deal during the redistricting process, but she did not take the deal. State Senator Gerald Dial, the Senate chair of the redistricting committee, said she should not have been offered such a deal, and that he had no knowledge of it. Irons' district changed significantly as a result of redistricting.
Shelby County challenge to the Voting Rights Act
In April 2010, the Shelby County Commission voted to approve a lawsuit by County Attorney Frank "Butch" Ellis challenging the constitutionality of sections 4(b) and 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, was paid for by the Project on Fair Representation, who describe themselves as "a not-for-profit legal defense fund designed to support litigation that challenges racial and ethnic classifications and preferences in state and federal courts."
The sections in question dealt with the issue of "preclearance," where areas designated under the VRA must get all voting changes approved by the U.S. Department of Justice. A total of 16 states, including Alabama, had to receive some form of approval under the act. Congress renewed these sections in 2006 for another 25 years without updating which parts of the country should be covered. Shelby County argued that this was done without sufficient evidence, explaining, "It simply was not rational in theory or practice to impose preclearance on the covered jurisdictions through 2031 based on voting statistics from 1964, 1968, and 1972."
The Justice Department defended the law, saying that these areas continued to show trends of discrimination, stating, "The symptoms of discrimination have changed, but the underlying disease remains the same in the very jurisdictions that have been the subject (of federal oversight) since its original enactment." Following oral arguments made on February 2, 2011, U.S. District Judge John Bates asked for written comments regarding the coverage formula as it was used in 1965. Ellis contended the case had the potential to make it to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Initial federal court decision
On September 21, 2011, a federal court in Washington, DC upheld the law and rejected the lawsuit.
Supreme Court decision
The case eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court as Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, Attorney General, et al. On June 25, 2013, the court issued a 5-4 ruling that effectively struck down the coverage formula in section five of the Voting Rights Act. The court majority stated that the formula used to enforce the VRA is unconstitutional and needs to be updated. Chief Justice John Roberts, in the court's opinion, wrote, "Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions."
The court did not issue a holding on section 5 itself, with Roberts saying, "Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions."
Legislative Black Caucus Lawsuit
On August 10, 2012, the Legislative Black Caucus, along with the Association of Black County Officials and several black county commissioners, filed a lawsuit seeking to block implementation of legislative redistricting plans. According to the lawsuit, the plans dilute minority voting strength, violate "one person, one vote," and illegally split counties.
The United States Department of Justice approved of the new district plans on October 5, 2012. This ruling rendered the lawsuit moot, allowing for implementation of the new maps.
The process of redistricting in Alabama is addressed in sections 198-201 of Article IX of the Alabama Constitution. Redistricting is mandated during the first session after official completion of the U.S. census in order to reflect population shifts within the state.
In 1990, the Alabama Legislature established the Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment. It is currently responsible for preparing and developing redistricting plans following each census.
Failures at redistricting
Although the legislature is required by the state constitution to reapportion itself every 10 years, it failed to do so between 1901-1972. In August 1950, a committee made up of 6 members of the House and 6 Senators met to study reapportionment. Their study, the first since 1901, was delivered in October. Two reapportionment studies were made by the Legislative Reference Service, in 1950 and 1954 respectively. None of these, however, lead to reapportionment. Additional failed attempts at reapportionment were made in 1956, 1959, and 1961.
Class action suit
These multiple failures led 14 Birmingham citizens to file a class action suit in district court on behalf of all residents of Alabama. The suit, filed August 12, 1961, sought all members of the state legislature to be elected at-large until the legislature followed the Constitutional provision for reapportionment.
In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Baker v. Carr declared federal courts had jurisdiction over legislative reapportionment cases, which led the district court to give the legislature until July 16, 1962 to reapportion itself or it would be up to the court. The legislature passed two reapportionment bills, but they were voided by the federal court, leading the court to order immediate implementation of its own plan.
In 1965, the legislature passed a redistricting plan geared toward ending rural domination of the legislature. While the plan for the Senate was approved, the federal court rejected the plan for the House, declaring it "racial gerrymandering." Ignoring the court's order to address the House redistricting issue, the legislature once again saw the court implement its own plan.
Creation of a permanent committee
Often finding itself at odds with the federal court, the legislature in 1972 created a permanent joint legislative committee on reapportionment. The committee has been altered and amended through the intervening years, and is currently known as the Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment. It is responsible for preparing and developing redistricting plans after each census.
Redistricting of Senate and House districts last took place during 2001-2002.
In 2001, Democrats held the governorship, the House, and the Senate. At the federal level, both U.S. Senate seats and five of seven Congressional seats were in Republican hands. In June 2001, at adjournment sine die for the regular legislative session, a special session was called. It would ultimately run through July 2, 2001. Three special session bills, two from the House and one from the Senate, were passed and forward to then-Governor Donald Siegleman.
Of concern was avoiding the complicated fall out from the 1991 redistricting, when Republicans presented a plan that cut away minorities in the 2nd and 6th Districts who were reliable Democratic voters. However, it took longer than expected and a court imposed plan prevailed when legislators failed to draw a timely map for the 1992 elections. Challenges to the map wound through state and Federal court; in the end, a U.S. District Court ruled that the Equal Rights Clause of the 14th Amendment had been violated in four state Senate and three state House seats where white voters had been packed together in order to create majority black situations in adjacent districts - a requirement of Section Five of the Voting Rights Act.
Redistricting had a rough start, when the regular session ended in the early summer of 2001 with no final decision. Republicans brought suit, asking a judge to remove the process to the courts and Democrats countered by unveiling their plans the next day. Governor Siegleman's special session resulted in a map of House and Senate districts, but the votes to approve it were party-line matters and Republicans were predictably unhappy with the results. Interest groups such as the NAACP also found faults in the legislature's work.
Siegleman called the legislature into another special session in late August to address Congressional and Board of Education boundaries; both chambers passed a bill within days - just not the same bill. The House refused to adopt the Senate bill, which had the support of incumbent Congressmen. The GOP vowed to fight the House bill until their preferred bill, the Senate's 'consensus', made headway. No one brokered a deal and the second special session ended with no movement on a Congressional map. The GOP began preparing for a legal onslaught over U.S. House seats while lawsuits continued to pile up over the already passed state plans.
In October 2001, a delegation of black community leaders asked the Justice Department, reviewing the state plan, to throw it out based on concerns over House districts. While the Department of Justice did sign off on state level legislative seats, Congressional boundaries remained unresolved. In November, Republicans got a panel of Federal judges to give Alabama's General Assembly a deadline to sort out those seats; the Courts also issued a temporary map. Facing a January 2002 deadline, Governor Seigleman convened a special legislative session for the third time in one year. The legislature met from December 6, 2001 until January 16, 2002, knowing the trial date had already been set if they failed to complete a map.
The state's Senate finally passed a bill on January 25, 2002, with the House following six days later. The Governor signed off on the plan on February 1, 2002 and, in early March, Justice Department approval came through. The plan was barely complete in time for potential candidates in the 2002 midterms to make a decision and file to run before the April 4, 2002 cutoff.
Deviation from "Ideal Districts"
|2000 Population Deviation|
|State House Districts||9.93%|
|State Senate Districts||9.73%|
|Under federal law, districts may vary from an 'Ideal District' by up to 10%, though the lowest number achievable is preferred. 'Ideal Districts' are computed through simple division of the number of seats for any office into the population at the time of the Census.|
There were 11 lawsuits, not counting appeals, related to the Alabama 2000 census redistricting process.
- Barnett v. Alabama, No. Civ.A. 01-0433 (S.D. Ala. Nov. 7, 2001) (three-judge court) : On June 15, 2001, plaintiffs brought suit complaining the General Assembly had failed to draw a map of House and Senate seats. When the legislature presented a plan to the Governor on July 3, 2001, the Court dismissed the case.
- Barnett v. Alabama, No. Civ.A. 01-0434-BH-S, 171 F. Supp.2d 1292 (S.D. Ala. Nov. 20, 2001) (three-judge court) : filed concurrently with Civ. A 01-0433, challenging Alabama's Congressional Districts as Unconstitutional and ultimately moved to the Middle District and consolidated with Douglas.
- Montiel v. Davis, No. Civ.A. 01-0447-BH-S, 215 F. Supp.2d 1279 (S.D. Ala. Jul. 8, 2002) (three-judge court) : brought on July 21, 2001 over the legislative failure to draw new legislative, Congressional, and State Board of Education boundaries after the 2000 census. As soon as lawmakers did present a map for legislative districts, Montiel was amended to challenge the Constitutionality of the districts; specifically claiming racial gerrymandering had been at work and had violated "one man, one vote." The Congressional and Education complaints were severed and the defendants got a summary judgement in their favor on the legislative issue as the Courts felt a 10% or smaller deviation from the "ideal district" was small enough for a rebuttable presumption of Constitutionality. The plaintiffs did not ever bring cause to trigger scrutiny.
- Webb v. Alabama, No. CV-01-1964 (Cir. Ct. Montgomery Co. Jan. 2002) : filed July 2, 2001 seeking a declaratory judgment that the legislative plan was Constitutional and later dismissed when the plaintiffs could not cite a controversy sufficient to justify a ruling.
- Ex parte Rice, No. 1010125 (Ala. Nov. 8, 2001) : filed in October 2001 seeking extraordinary relief in Webb pending the state Supreme Court decision in Sinkfield, ultimately denied.
- Rice v. English, No. CV-2001-2311 (Cir. Ct. Montgomery Co., Jan. 28, 2002), aff’d No. 1010968, 835 So.2d 157 (Ala. May 24, 2002) : argued that Act No. 2001-727 of July 2001 , which redrew state Senate boundaries with 2000 Census data, violated the requirement for equal Senate districts in Ala. Const. 1901 art. IX, § 200. The argument, the state Senate districts had to be drawn to the same standard as Congressional seats, was rejected and the defendants won a summary judgment. The Alabama Supreme Court upheld the Circuit Court in Rice v. English, No. 1010968, 835 So.2d 157 (Ala. May 24, 2002).
- Douglas v. Alabama, No. CV-2001-1985 (Cir. Ct. Montgomery Co.) : alleged state and Federal violations when the legislature failed to draw a map of Congressional districts and later removed to Federal litigation
- Douglas v. Alabama, No. 01-D-922-N (M.D. Ala. Apr. 29, 2002) (three-judge court) : filed in state court and removed to the Federal courts, after being consolidated with Montiel and Barnett. The Courts halted proceedings twice, first to allow the legislature time to draw a map and the second time when the legislature ultimately presented a plan to the Governor.
- Gustafson v. Johns, No. 05-00352-CG-C, 434 F. Supp.2d 1246 (S.D. Ala. May, 22, 2006) (three-judge court), aff’d No. 06-13508, 213 Fed.Appx. 872 (11th Cir. Jan. 9, 2007) (unpublished) : brought June 16, 2005 by 19 plaintiffs who argued the House and Senate plans violated their "one person, one vote" right under Amendment XIV and Freedom of Association under Amendment I. Deciding the plaintiffs were represented by prior plaintiffs, the case was dismissed res judica.
- Gustafson v. Johns, No. 06-13508, 213 Fed.Appx. 872 (11th Cir. Jan. 9, 2007) : In the appeal, the 11th Circuit decided it has jurisdiction because a res judica decision by the lower court did not answer the Constitutional question.
- Owens v. Jordan, No. CV-2002-1512 (Cir. Ct. Montgomery Co. Sep. 2006), aff’d No. 1060189 (Ala.) : challenged the Constitutionality of the 2001 plan, dismissed res judica with reference to Montiel and Rice
- State Legislative and Congressional Redistricting after the 2010 Census
- State-by-state redistricting procedures
- News Courier, "Census: Alabama won't gain, lose House seats," December 21, 2010
- Alabama Legislature - "Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment"
- Geo Community, "Alabama moves its redistricting process to the web," January 20, 2011
- The Huntsville Times, "EDITORIAL: Alabama redistricting efforts stirs concerns of political gerrymandering," May 12, 2011
- The Gadsden Times, "Census information release will begin reapportionment," February 17, 2011
- Hartselle Enquirer, "Officials begin to redistrict state," April 6, 2011
- Birmingham News, "Two metro Birmingham senators named to Alabama Legislature's reapportionment panel," March 3, 2011
- Alabama Legislature, Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment
- Troy Messenger, "Redistricting hearing is today," March 31, 2011
- Sand mountain Reporter, "Scofield lands prized committee appointment," March 9, 2011
- Times Daily, "Voting district changes in works," December 20, 2010 (dead link)
- Times Daily, "Crystal ball divines good news in 2011," January 2, 2011 (dead link)
- Lagniappe Magazine, "Why the Hate on Cam Newton," December 28, 2010
- Swing State Project, "Redistricting Outlook: Alabama-Arkansas," January 1, 2011
- Census Bureau Newsroom, "Media Advisory — Census Bureau Ships Local 2010 Census Data to Alabama," February 23, 2011
- U.S. Census Bureau, "Alabama Custom tables 2010," accessed March 1, 2011
- Brewton Standard, "Public hearings on redistricting coming," April 25, 2011
- Decatur Daily, "Redistricting hearings begin Monday," May 6 2011 (dead link)
- Anniston Star, "Under GOP control, redistricting process gains public hearing input," May 12, 2011 (dead link)
- The Birmingham News, "Alabama legislative panel sets 5 public hearings on redistricting," May 3, 2011
- The Birmingham News, "Some say redistricting hearing poorly timed because of tornado recovery," May 10, 2011
- Times Daily, "Redistricting dispute begins for north Alabama," May 9, 2011 (dead link)
- Slate, "The Most Gerrymandered Congressional Districts," November 10, 2010
- Gadsen Times, "Revised plan would return Etowah to 4th Congressional District," May 19, 2011
- The Huntsville Times, "Alabama redistricting efforts stirs concerns of political gerrymandering," May 12, 2011
- The Birmingham News, "Alabama redistricting panel backs plan that rebuffs proposal by its leadership, congressmen," May 18, 2011
- WHNT "Congressional Redistricting To Shake Up North Alabama," May 19, 2011
- Tennessee Valley Times, "New design is ‘historic'," May 19, 2011
- The Republic, "Alabama Legislature approves new congressional districts over opposition from some Democrats," June 2, 2011
- Times Daily, "Redistricting plan passes with protests from House," June 2, 2011 (dead link)
- Stamford Advocate, "Ala. Legislature OKs new congressional districts," June 2, 2011
- The Huntsville Times, "Bentley rejects Huntsville's alternative redistricting plan; signs Legislature's plan into law," June 8, 2011
- Times Daily, "Last-minute plan surfaces," June 8, 2011 (dead link)
- Roll Call, "Between the Lines: Roll Crimson Tide — Governor Signs Map in Alabama," June 9, 2011
- Houston Chronicle, "Ala. AG asks court to approve redistricting plan," September 13, 2011
- Clanton Advertiser, "Public hearing Oct. 6 on state districts," September 14, 2011
- Times Daily, "Public hearings set on redistricting," September 14, 2011
- CNN, "Justice Department approves congressional redistricting for Alabama," November 21, 2011
- The Huntsville Times, "Huntsville first stop tonight by legislative committee for series of statewide hearings on redistricting," May 9, 2011
- OANow.com, "Public forums to precede state legislative redistricting," September 22, 2011 (dead link)
- Times-Journal, "Redistricting process begins," October 3, 2011
- The Birmingham News, "Public hearings on new Alabama districts start Monday," October 2, 2011
- The Gadsden Times, "Legislative redistricting suggested for mid-May special session," February 20, 2012
- The Republic, "New Alabama legislative districts not done, but some already poised for court challenges," April 9, 2012
- Montgomery Advertiser, "New Ala. district maps could face legal challenges," April 9, 2012
- WAAY, "Alabama Legislature passes redistricting plans," May 24, 2012
- Chicago Tribune, "Alabama seeks Voting Rights Act clearance of redistricting plan," July 27, 2012
- Examiner, "Alabama voting districts get federal approval," October 6, 2012
- TimesDaily.com, "Irons says ‘great district’ offered to switch parties," May 12, 2012
- Birmingham News, "Shelby County to challenge part of federal Voting Rights Act of 1965," April 26, 2010
- Project on Fair Representation, "Homepage," accessed on February 22, 2011
- Birmingham News, "Shelby County's lawsuit over the Voting Rights Act could turn on 2006 renewal," February 20, 2011
- Shelby County Reporter, "County awaits ruling in voting rights challenge," February 2, 2011
- USA Today, "Court upholds discrimination provision in voting act," September 22, 2011
- ABC news, "Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Part of Voting Rights Act," June 25, 2013
- New York Times, "Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Part of Voting Rights Act," June 25, 2013
- The Birmingham News, "Alabama Legislative Black Caucus files lawsuit over redistricting plans," August 10, 2012
- Alabama Legislature - "Reapportionment History"
- Fairvote Archives, "Alabama's Redistricting News: (May 27, 2001-January 6, 2002)," accessed January 31, 2011
- Fairvote Archives, "Alabama's Redistricting News," accessed January 31, 2011
- National Conference of State Legislatures, “Redistricting 2000 Population Deviation Table”," accessed February 1, 2011
- Minnesota State Senate, "2000 Redistricting Case Summaries"