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Last updated 10:03AM ET
March 6, 2021
U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Alabama Case
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to review a voting rights dispute from Alabama in which the governor filled a county commission vacancy by appointing a Republican to represent a heavily Democratic district.

A federal court removed the Republican from his seat on the Mobile County commission and a Democrat won a special election.

Governor Bob Riley appointed Juan Chastang, a Republican, to the commission in November 2005. Democrats challenged the move because the Justice Department had not given its required approval under the federal Voting Rights Act.

The district is predominantly black, and Chastang, who is black, lost to a black Democrat, Merceria Ludgood.

Alabama is one of several states that have to obtain Justice Department pre-clearance before changing voting laws in order to make sure black residents don't lose any clout in the electorate because of the change.

The case is Riley versus Kennedy, 07-77.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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