Justice Department Clears New Alabama Lines

Posted November 21, 2011 at 5:41pm

The Department of Justice pre-cleared Alabama’s new Congressional map today, locking in lines that shore up the seven incumbents — six Republicans and one Democrat — in the Yellowhammer State.

Under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, certain states with histories of voting discrimination, including Alabama, are required to receive approval from either the DOJ or the federal District Court for the District of Columbia before any changes to voting lines can be enforced. That approval is known as pre-clearance.

In a letter dated Nov. 21, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez wrote that the attorney general “does not interpose any objection to the specified changes,” which is legal jargon for approving the map.

Roll Call rates all the Congressional districts in the state as safe. Democrats hope state Rep. Joe Hubbard (D) might give freshman Rep. Martha Roby (R) a competitive race next year. But at this point, Roby — who defeated then-Rep. Bobby Bright (D) in 2010 — appears unlikely to face a serious political threat.