Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Supreme Court allows Louisiana to use congressional map with second majority-Black district

By 37ci3 May15,2024

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for Louisiana to use a congressional map that includes two majority-Black districts in this year’s elections.

The court granted emergency requests filed by an unlikely alliance of Republican state officials and civil rights groups seeking to block the high court. decision of the lower court invalidated the most recently drawn map. State officials said they needed to finalize the map by Wednesday to meet bureaucratic deadlines and avoid “confusion.”

The court’s three liberal justices dissented, with Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson writing that the state still has time to draw a map that will answer the various legal questions raised. It’s 6-3 on the court conservative majority.

“There is little risk of voter confusion from a new map implemented so far from the November election,” Jackson wrote. The liberal justice has objected in previous cases in which it acted to block changes to district maps or election laws in an election year.

Black voters have historically voted Democratic, and a bipartisan black district map could give them a chance to gain ground, helping them regain control of the closely divided House of Representatives.

Louisiana’s map became the subject of intense litigation, with the state’s original effort ruled a racial gerrymander. Using the Legislature’s original map, Republicans won five of six districts in the 2022 election.

That map was later redrawn after the Supreme Court unexpectedly upheld the federal Voting Rights Act last summer. A similar congressional map in Alabama discriminates against black voters.

But after the new map was drawn up, a new group of plaintiffs, each described in court documents as “non-African American,” filed a legal challenge, saying the law violated the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which ensures that the law applies equally to all. Those plaintiffs argued that selecting a second-majority Black district was itself a form of discrimination against non-Black voters.

A federal court struck down the new map, but as time ran out to finalize congressional districts before this year’s elections, state officials told the Supreme Court it was important to “prevent chaos and confusion.”

The plaintiffs in the new case said the state’s deadlines are “hopelessly arbitrary,” in part because there is no spring primary.

Louisiana does not hold traditional primaries like other states; Instead, all candidates appear on the ballot known as “Election Day.”jungle first.” The state recently revised its election laws, introducing more party primaries in 2026 as in other states.

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By 37ci3

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