The Supreme Court approved the second majority black House district in Louisiana


A lawyer who argued the voting rights issue before the Supreme Court called the case the biggest ‘train wreck’ in recent memory. “This madness must end,” said Louisiana’s attorney general.

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for Louisiana to use a congressional map with the second majority black district, which has implications for which party takes control of Congress after the November election.

The court’s decision is the latest reversal in a year in response to an urgent request from state officials and voting rights advocates. War on Borders The state’s six congressional districts include both race, politics and redistricting.

“Louisiana will finally have a fair and equitable map,” said Jared Evans, an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

The Supreme Court stayed a lower court ruling that invalidated a map that increased the number of majority-black districts from one to two.

Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill said the court’s intervention provides stability to the state’s election process, which has fast-approaching deadlines.

Advocates for Louisiana voters who challenged the map, calling it a “brutally racist” one, say they hope to be struck down by the Supreme Court in future proceedings.

Southern states struggled to figure out what Chief Justice John Roberts called for, A 2014 case involving Alabama found a “sweet spot” for using race in redistricting pursuant to the 1965 Civil Rights Act.. The goal is to do so in a way that does not lead to unconstitutional racism.

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Richard Bildes, a constitutional law professor at New York University Law School, argued a 2014 case involving Alabama. was invited The Louisiana case involved the “biggest practical train wreck.” Voting Rights Act That he could remember.

Will the power of black voters be diluted by the new map?

In 2022, a federal court said the power of black voters was diluted under a map that created the Louisiana Legislature. Black people represent one-third of the population.

But when the GOP-controlled Legislature created a map with two majority-black districts — one of which crosses the state diagonally — a divided panel of federal judges ruled it unconstitutional in favor of a group of self-described “non-African American” voters. Because the caste of the electorate mattered.

‘morally repugnant’

Those who called the map “morally repugnant” told the Supreme Court that it did not meet traditional redistricting principles, such as covering compact parts of cities of communities with similar interests, rather than having a zig-zag district.

Beyond trying not to violate the Voting Rights Act, lawmakers chose boundaries that protect powerful incumbents — House Speaker Mike Johnson, Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Rep. Julia Ledlow., Serves on the House panel that writes spending bills.

The judges gave the state until June 3 to try again before imposing its own map.

‘This madness must stop’

Louisiana officials said Supreme Court district boundaries must be settled by May 15 to meet deadlines for candidate filings and other election preparations.

“This insanity has to end,” Murrill, the state’s chief prosecutor, told the court while seeking intervention.

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If the state doesn’t have a map by May 15, Murrill said, the only way to avoid “election chaos” is to revert to the original map with a majority black district still projected in Louisiana’s voter-registration system.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund said black voters in Louisiana have already lost representation due to unsettled maps for the 2022 election, and the harm must not be repeated.

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