It never stops.
The suit maintains Alabama’s statewide method of electing members of the Alabama Supreme Court,Court of Criminal Appeals and Court of Civil Appeals deprives the African-American community of the ability to elect any judges of their choice.
“In 2016, Alabama’s appellate courts are no more diverse than they were when the Voting Rights Act was signed more than 50 years ago,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee. “It is time for the highest courts in the state of Alabama to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. This lawsuit seeks to provide African-American voters an equal opportunity to elect judges of their choice, achieve long overdue compliance with the Voting Rights Act and instill greater public confidence in the justice system of Alabama.”
The Supreme Court of Alabama has nine members and is the state’s court of last resort. Alabama’s intermediate appellate courts, the Court of Criminal Appeals and the Court of Civil Appeals, each has five members. All 19 judges are elected statewide.
Currently, all 19 judges are white.
That’s the problem…
There is only one. Elect the judges via districts and draw black-only districts, just like we do in the legislature.
Gerrymandering is the only solution here.
Look at this headline: A Southern city wants to secede from its school district, raising concerns about segregation
I respect the right of Gardendale to form its own system, but not at the expense of students left behind,” said Craig Pouncey, the county schools chief. “There’s no doubt if we believe in the principle of the desegregation order, then we’ve got to continue to hold it together.”
The U.S. Justice Department also opposes Gardendale’s separation, according to court records, as does the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Both are expected to outline their legal arguments in briefs due to the court this week.
“Resegregation is something that gets talked about a lot as sort of like a drip of water over time, and it eventually creates some huge hole in the wall,” said Monique Lin-Luse, a lawyer for the Legal Defense Fund. “This is a situation where you look and say, “No, actually . . . if we make a different choice, we can increase integration.’ ”
Towns in Jefferson County have a long history of seeking independent school systems. In 1970, when federal courts finally made clear that this corner of Alabama had to dismantle segregation, four cities — each predominantly white — responded by immediately attempting to fence themselves off from the county school system.
Three of those cities succeeded, creating what were then mainly white independent school systems. It happened again in 1988, 2003 and 2005. With each separation, the county was left with a shrinking tax base and growing proportion of black students.
“Where does it end? It ends with what we have in Birmingham, and that is basically an all-black system that is inferior to the surrounding white systems,” said U.W. Clemon, a lawyer who grew up going to an all-black Jefferson County school.
Clemon worked on the county’s school desegregation case beginning in the 1960s, as a 23-year-old intern for the Legal Defense Fund. He stayed with it for more than a decade before he became Alabama’s first black federal judge in 1980. Three decades later, he retired, and now — at age 73 — he is again working with the Legal Defense Fund to desegregate the school system he once attended, representing the black plaintiffs in the Jefferson County case.
He said the court allowed majority-white cities to secede in the recent past, not because it was the right thing to do but because the plaintiffs “basically rolled over and played dead.”
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