Federal judge tosses out Louisiana congressional maps bolstering Republicans

Josh Hypes, DCNF

A federal judge threw out Louisiana’s congressional maps Monday that would have bolstered Republicans’ electoral hopes after ruling that the maps likely violated the Voting Rights Act, according to court documents.

The ruling by Federal District Judge Shelly Dick blocked Republican Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin from holding Congressional elections under the new map because it failed to proportionately represent Louisiana’s growing black communities by only having one majority-black district. If the ruling stands, Republicans will have to draw another black-majority district, according to Bloomberg.

“The Court concludes that Plaintiffs have demonstrated that they will suffer an irreparable harm if voting takes place in the 2022 Louisiana congressional elections based on a redistricting plan that violates federal law,” Dick stated in her ruling.

Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards vowed to call a special session of the state legislature to pass a new congressional map with two majority black districts during a news conference last night. Edwards originally vetoed the maps passed by the Louisiana Republican-controlled legislature, claiming they were unrepresentative of the interests of black voters who make up almost one-third of the population of Louisiana.

Edwards said the legislature must comply with the court order, the Voting Rights Act and “basic fairness and basic math.”

Edwards’ office referred The Daily Caller News Foundation to the news conference when reached for comment.

Ardoin, the state’s top election official, filed a notice of appeal to overturn the decision with the U.S. Fifth Appeals Circuit Court, according to court documents.

“The Department of State’s legal team and I are reviewing the ruling entered by Judge Shelly Dick this afternoon,” Ardoin said in a statement sent to TheDCNF. “Our office has filed a Notice of Appeal to the Fifth Circuit along with the other named parties in the original action. The Louisiana Department of State does not comment on pending litigation.”

If the ruling is not overturned, Louisianan legislators have until June 20, a month before the July 20 qualifying deadline to run in the midterms, to pass a new map with a second majority black district, according to the Associated Press.

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