Voting Rights Change Dramatically In One State

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

On Monday (June 26), the Supreme Court permitted Louisiana to create a new congressional district with a majority of Black citizens.

Earlier, the judges had temporarily stopped a decision that ordered the state to redraw its Congressional maps. However, they delayed the case while examining a similar situation in Alabama.

Earlier in June, the court made a surprising ruling by striking down Alabama’s map. The court found that the map likely violated the Voting Rights Act by reducing the influence of Black voters.

After the court’s ruling that lifted the pause in Louisiana’s case sends it back to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, this action will probably result in the state having to create an additional majority-Black district.

According to the order, this will enable the case to move forward and be reviewed by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the usual manner and before the 2024 congressional elections in Louisiana.

The GOP-controlled Legislature in Louisiana approved a congressional map that included six districts, only one of which was majority Black. However, Governor John Bel Edwards (D) vetoed this map. Despite the veto, Republican lawmakers went ahead with their maps.

Afterward, two groups of plaintiffs took legal action against the map, claiming that it violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by reducing the influence of Black voters.

Abha Khanna, a partner at Elias Law Group that represented one of the plaintiff groups, highlighted that “By dismissing this case as improvidently granted,” the Supreme Court has “affirmed the power of the Voting Rights Act to prevent racially discriminatory redistricting.”