Lawsuit challenges Alabama's method of electing judges

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A lawsuit is challenging Alabama's practice of electing appellate judges by statewide vote, a method that plaintiffs say results in all-white courts in a state where one in four people is African-American.

A trial began Wednesday in federal court in Montgomery in the lawsuit.

The 2016 lawsuit contends the practice of at-large judicial elections violates the Voting Rights Act by diluting the voting power of African-American citizens.

There have been only two African-American candidates elected to the state's Supreme Court. Both were first appointed by governors. The court has been all-white for 17 years.

The lawsuit was filed by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on behalf of the Alabama NAACP and four black voters.

The Alabama attorney general's office declined to comment on the ongoing case Friday.