Jun 26, 2023 - Politics & Policy

SCOTUS clears the way for Louisiana to add a majority-Black congressional district

Photo shows the exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court with a tourist standing on one of the pillar bases.

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday lifted its hold on a Louisiana case that could force the state to redraw congressional districts.

Why it matters: The new lines could strengthen the voting power of Black residents, who only have a majority in one of Louisiana's six districts despite making up about a third of the population, per AP.

State of play: The Supreme Court put the temporary hold into effect last year, after District Judge Shelly Dick ordered the state to create a second majority-Black congressional district.

  • The case, which had been appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, can now move forward ahead of the 2024 elections.

Dick, in last year's ruling, wrote that "the evidence of Louisiana’s long and ongoing history of voting-related discrimination weighs heavily in favor of" the arguments from Louisiana's NAACP branch and others who challenged the state's map, per CNN.

  • The 2022 midterm elections were then held using the contested map.

Driving the news: The decision comes after SCOTUS rejected Alabama's redistricting map earlier this month, affirming a lower court ruling that found a likely violation of the Voting Rights Act, per AP.

  • The court had paused its decision in Louisiana while it decided on the Alabama map.

What he's saying: Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards weighed in Monday afternoon, saying the state "should have a congressional map that represents our voting population."

  • "As I have consistently stated, this is about simple math, basic fairness, and the rule of law. I am confident we will have a fair map in the near future.”

Worth noting: This is the second Supreme Court decision in less than a week that directly involved Louisiana.

  • On Friday, the justices said Louisiana and Texas do not have a legal right to challenge a Biden immigration policy that prioritized certain groups of undocumented people for arrest and deportation, according to SCOTUSblog.com.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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