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As expected, on Wednesday Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the GOP legislature's plan to make only minimal changes to the current, totally uncompetitive 6R-1D map. In anticipation, several Black legislators backed by Democrats' national redistricting arm filed a federal lawsuit in September alleging that the state's lines are discriminatory because they excessively pack Black voters into Rep. Terri Sewell's 7th CD.

Sewell herself has suggested her Birmingham-to-Montgomery district be dismantled to give Black voters opportunities to elect candidates in two districts. Today, Black residents make up 26 percent of Alabama's population but wield influence in just one of seven districts. It wouldn't be hard to unpack her 55 percent Black seat into two majority Black districts: one anchored by Birmingham and another by Montgomery and the Black Belt.

Even so, given the very conservative judicial makeup

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