Supreme Court allows for Louisiana congressional map to be redrawn to add another majority-Black district

Jun 26, 2023, 8:21 AM | Updated: Sep 11, 2023, 11:26 am

The Supreme Court said Monday that Louisiana’s congressional map must be redrawn to add a second ...

The Supreme Court said Monday that Louisiana’s congressional map must be redrawn to add a second majority-Black district. (Credit:Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit:Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN) — The Supreme Court on Monday allowed Louisiana congressional map to be redrawn to add another majority-Black district.

The justices reversed plans to hear the case themselves and lifted a hold they placed on a lower court’s order for a reworked redistricting regime. There were no noted dissents.

The move from the high court comes after a ruling the justices issued earlier this month about Alabama’s congressional maps that upheld how courts have historically approached the redistricting provisions in the Voting Rights Act, the landmark civil rights law that Black voters are using to challenge the Louisiana congressional plan.

Louisiana state officials were sued last year for a congressional map – passed by the Republican legislature over Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ veto – that made only one of its six districts majority Black, despite the 2020 census showing that the state’s population is 33% Black.

“Today’s decision follows on the heels of the court’s 5-4 ruling earlier this month holding that Alabama also has to re-draw its congressional district maps to include a second majority-minority district,” said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

“And like the Alabama ruling, it doesn’t explain why the court nevertheless had issued emergency relief to allow Louisiana to use its unlawful maps during the 2022 midterm cycle,” Vladeck added. “It puts the court’s interventions last year into ever-sharper perspective.”

The order means that the lower court proceedings in the case, which were put on hold by the conservative majority in late June of last year, will restart. At the time, a merits panel of the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals was preparing for an expedited review of a judge’s ruling that said that the 5-1 congressional plan likely violated the Voting Rights Act.

The new order from the justices noted that their latest move “will allow the matter to proceed before the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for review in the ordinary course and in advance of the 2024 congressional elections in Louisiana.”

The judge, US District Judge Shelly Dick of the US District Court for the Middle District had been considering a remedial congressional plan, after lawmakers in Louisiana refused to pass a plan with a second majority-Black district themselves.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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Supreme Court allows for Louisiana congressional map to be redrawn to add another majority-Black district