Supreme Court REINSTATES Election Changes
(UnitedVoice.com) – Over the last year, state legislatures or their appointed entities worked to redraw congressional districts after the 2020 census determined population changes. While Democrats would have America believe gerrymandering is only a Republican problem, that isn’t accurate. In April, the New York State Supreme Court found that the legislature drew congressional districts in favor of Democrats and ordered the legislature to redraw the state’s maps.
In Louisiana, redistricting challenges are more complicated than in New York. After the GOP-led state legislature overrode Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards’ veto of the new maps in March, the NAACP sued. The case has made its way to the US Supreme Court, which decided on Tuesday, June 28, to allow the redistricting maps to remain in place through the midterm elections.
Supreme Court Freezes Lower Court Ruling
The new GOP redistricting map kept the current maps largely intact. The GOP retained an advantage in Louisiana by holding onto five of the six congressional seats apportioned to the state. The 6-3 conservative-led Supreme Court froze a lower court ruling that would have tossed out the maps and sent it back to the legislature.
So, what was the issue if the legislature largely kept the previous partisan seats intact?
Democrats countered the legislature’s seats by saying the sizable black majority was not adequately represented in the state by having only one black congressional district. On June 6, US District Court Judge Shelly Dick agreed and ordered the legislature to create another majority-black-district. She cited the state’s horrible history of racial discrimination as the primary reason for her decision.
The legislature filed an appeal but ultimately asked the US Supreme Court to get involved in the matter.
Is Racial Discrimination a Reason to Carve Out Congressional Districts?
In his appeal to the high court, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) argued that the lower court ordered the legislature to create two black congressional districts in violation of court precedent. He said the lower court asked the state to create a new district based on “segregating the races for the purpose of voting.”
Landry noted that federal courts cautioned the state in the past not to create congressional districts based on race as the core factor. Yet, the lower court contradicted previous court rulings. The Louisiana attorney general said forming a second district based on race alone would place the electorate into a divisive and chaotic environment that would lead to confusion. The result, he argued, would be a loss of confidence in the integrity of the midterm elections.
The Supreme Court will take up the matter after ruling in an Alabama redistricting case in October. It may be 2023 before the High Court resolves the issue and the 2024 elections before the state legislature redraws districts if the court orders.
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