Judges Reject Louisiana’s Proposed Congressional District Plan

(NewsSpace.com) – States are broken up by districts on congressional maps to elect representatives. Every 10 years, after the US Census, lawmakers redraw the lines. In Louisiana, its congressional map is facing a legal challenge after opponents said it created an “impermissible racial gerrymander.” A court has now ruled on the matter.

A panel of federal judges struck down a new congressional map in Louisiana in a 2-1 vote. As it was presented, the map, which was laid out in January, would create a second majority-black district. Challengers said this violated the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The map is important because it defines the boundaries, and is expected to be used in the November elections. In the majority opinion, the judges noted, “The State of Louisiana is prohibited from using [the map] for any election.”

An earlier ruling in a lower court determined that the prior map likely illegally diluted black voters’ strength. This matters because approximately two-thirds of the state’s population is black.

The panel of judges also ordered all parties involved in the legal challenge to meet on May 6 to determine which map to use in the elections. There’s a firm deadline of May 15 to finalize the decision. However, the case could escalate all the way to the Supreme Court. Liz Murrill, the Louisiana attorney general, said on X, formerly Twitter, that the nation’s high court “needs to clear this up.”

If the map had been approved, it would have presented as a victory for the state’s Democrats, because it threatened the US House’s majority by putting Rep. Garret Graves’ (R-LA) district in peril.

Now, the state is fighting two uphill battles, with the new map that was recently struck down found to violate the 14th Amendment and the prior map likely in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Several other states are also facing challenges with their maps.

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