The Red Hills Ivey-mander

Caricatured as a salamander and codified by Governor Eldridge Gerry, the March 12, 1812 Boston Gazette labeled Massachusetts’s South Essex electoral district a “Gerry-mander.”  Over ensuing two centuries, legislators, politicians, and wheeler-dealers of every stripe have Gerrymandered districts to their advantage and opponent’s disadvantage.

On “lostdebate.com,” February 11, Cory Bradford critiqued Alabama’s electoral districts map.  District Seven is a stunning example of the level to which some southerners will stoop in continuing to fight the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Civil Rights.  Noting that Alabama’s State Amphibian is, curiously, the Red Hills salamander and its governor Republican Kay Ivey, I label Alabama’s electoral district Seven a “Red Hills Ivey-mander!” 

Alabama’s district Seven corrals a majority of its black citizens, 31% of the population, in one electoral district.  To appreciate the impact of this, imagine dividing Alabamians into three equal-size but racially unequally groups, the two more-non-black thirds each get three United States Congressional Representatives, while the lone more-black third gets one!  Today, Alabama has six white males and one black female Representative!

My Red Hills Ivey-mander extends southwest from Birmingham to the confluence of the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers, 200 miles, sixty percent of the state’s north-south length.  Fairly to distribute the ethnicity of Alabamans, the Ivey-mander’s thirty-mile long neck should be lopped in the narrows between districts Four and Six, its arched back slightly lowered, and its southern boundary extended east from the Choctaw/Washington county line.  Thus districted, it’s anyone’s guess how the voting would go, but, clearly, Birmingham belongs in the District Six, Tuscaloosa in District Four, and Ivey-mander’s tail in District One.   

In Merrill v. Milligan, Feb. 7, 2022, the United States Supreme Court stayed a district court’s injunction barring Alabama from using its newly redistricted map in the 2022 election.  While SCOTUS has yet to rule.  If it were to overturn the district court, as memory serves, quoting Sancho Panza’s wisdom regarding some arcane legal point, “If the Law believes that, the Law is a ass.”

If the United States Supreme Court upholds Alabama’s new electoral districting, the United States Supreme Court is a ass!

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