An Alabama state senator who was in charge of a committee that drew the state's Senate districts has denied that the process was intended to create more Republican districts.
Republican Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville testified in federal court Thursday that his only goals going into the redistricting process were to prevent incumbents from facing each other, to avoid reducing the percentage of minorities in majority black districts, and to protect communities of interest.
Democratic and minority lawmakers are in court challenging the districts that were approved by the legislature in 2012.
A three-judge panel is hearing the case. Attorneys for the black legislators argued that redistricting packed black residents in minority districts, diluting their influence.
Dial testified that the districts were drawn after 21 public hearings were held across the state.
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