Voting Map Reinstated By US Supreme Court

( — The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed Louisiana to use the newly drawn congressional map that includes a second majority-black district for the upcoming 2024 elections.

The high court granted a request filed by civil rights organizations and a group of black voters in the state and a separate request from the state of Louisiana to put on hold a lower court ruling that blocked the state from using the redrawn map in any upcoming election.

The Republican-led legislature approved the new district lines in January after the courts rejected the map adopted in March 2022 for violating the Voting Rights Act.

The Supreme Court decision is a win for Democrats, as the additional majority-black district would likely give them a second congressional seat in Louisiana.

The map approved by state lawmakers in 2022 included only one majority-black district out of six, despite blacks making up a third of Louisiana’s population.

The civil rights organizations and a group of black voters sued the state, arguing that the map violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. A federal judge agreed and blocked the state from using the 2022 congressional map in any elections. She allowed lawmakers to create a new congressional map that included another majority-black district.

After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a challenge to Alabama’s congressional map, Louisiana moved ahead with the judge’s order to redraw its map. An appellate court later gave Louisiana until January 15 to approve a map that included a second majority-black district.

However, after the new map was approved, a group of voters challenged it, arguing that it amounted to racial gerrymandering, which violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

A three-judge panel of a federal district court then issued a divided decision in late April, determining that the racial gerrymandering violated the Constitution. The panel barred the map from being used in upcoming elections, prompting both the civil rights groups and the state of Louisiana to petition the Supreme Court to intervene.

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