May 15, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court temporarily approves Louisiana's latest congressional map

Animated illustration of Louisiana with red and blue districts in it changing shape.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily allowed Louisiana to move forward with a congressional map that includes two majority-Black districts for the 2024 elections.

The big picture: The order comes after a lower court deemed in a ruling that the map contained racial gerrymandering.

  • A map change could result in the state sending a second Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives.

State of play: An emergency appeal was filed seeking a decision by Wednesday's deadline because Louisiana's top elections official said a map needed to be in place in time for November's elections.

  • The Supreme Court's unsigned decision Wednesday said its order will remain in effect pending the justices' decision or action on an appeal. It can still decided to hear arguments in the case.
  • The order does not deal with the lower court's ruling from last week but rather prevents an additional new map from being created for the November election, AP reports.

Catch up quick: The new map was approved in January by a majority-Republican legislature.

Context: After state lawmakers drew Louisiana's new congressional map with updated census numbers, civil rights groups sued the state in federal court, arguing that the new version violates the Voting Rights Act by unfairly representing Black voters.

  • Black voters make up about a third of Louisiana's population, but only one of six districts was majority Black.
  • A federal judge sided with the civil rights groups, and ordered the state to redraw the maps.

Go deeper: Louisiana lawmakers pass new congressional map adding 2nd majority-Black district

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