MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A civil rights group is challenging Alabama’s practice of electing appellate judges by statewide vote, saying it has resulted in all-white courts in a state where one of every four people is African-American.
The NAACP’s Alabama chapter and four black voters sued the state on Wednesday in Montgomery federal court, arguing that electing judges through at-large elections in Alabama violates the Voting Rights Act.
The lawsuit filed by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law comes as attention turns to voter restrictions and ballot access with only weeks to go before Election Day. A similar lawsuit was filed in Texas on behalf of Latino voters.
There have been two African-American judges elected previously to the Alabama Supreme Court, but the court has been all-white for the last 15 years.