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Supreme Court accepts new Louisiana map; liberal justices dissent

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Louisiana’s new congressional map, which includes the majority-black second congressional district, can be used in November after a lower court rejected the map earlier this month. did.

The high court overruled a federal judge’s decision two weeks ago to block the use of a new Louisiana House map signed by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry in January that includes two Black House majority districts. issued an injunction.

The dispute involves a long-running lawsuit over Louisiana’s congressional maps. The first map was the subject of a Voting Rights Act lawsuit in 2022 after the state Legislature passed a House map that included one of the majority-Black congressional districts. Then-Governor John Bel Edwards (D) vetoed the map, arguing that black residents make up one-third of the state, but his veto was later overturned.

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which kept the maps in place for the 2022 midterm elections, but ultimately decided last year to send the case back to a federal appeals court, allowing states to change their House maps. The court ruled that it was necessary to create one. Two neighborhoods are majority black.

Louisiana ultimately passed new maps creating two majority-black districts at the expense of Rep. Garrett Graves (R-Louisiana) in the state’s 6th Congressional District.

In February, 12 non-Black voters in the state filed a lawsuit against the new House map, alleging that the state had engaged in “blatant racial voter segregation and intentional discrimination against voters based on race.” filed a lawsuit.

A panel of federal judges sided with those voters in a ruling earlier this month, arguing that the new maps violate the Equal Protection Clause. But the Supreme Court on Wednesday was ultimately unpersuaded by that argument and allowed the use of the congressional map in November.

However, it is noteworthy that this decision provoked a dissent from the court’s three liberal justices, including Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who argued, “Is emergency intervention warranted?” “We would have liked the district court’s relief process to proceed naturally before considering the issue,” he wrote in his dissenting opinion. ” Now we can consider the possibility of a new map.

The ruling is a victory for Democrats, as they are likely to gain seats in Louisiana under the new congressional map. The party only needs to flip a few seats in the lower house in November to regain a majority there.

Democrats are also likely to gain new seats in Alabama, and Republicans are expected to pick up several seats in North Carolina after the state Legislature allowed them to pass a new congressional map.

The House Democratic campaign chair praised the Supreme Court’s decision in a statement.

“Today, the Supreme Court made clear that Louisiana voters will finally vote on a congressional map that guarantees fair representation for Black communities that have been denied for too long.” Chair Susan・Rep. DelBene (Democratic Party, Washington State) said. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “This news is a much-needed victory for our democracy, and I am confident that Louisiana will join the new Democratic majority in the next Congress.”

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