The U.S. Supreme Court handed a huge with to the GOP by allowing the Louisiana state legislature to use the Republican-drawn congressional map for the 2022 midterm elections.
A federal judge had previously ruled the Republican-drawn map violated the Voting Rights Act and ordered lawmakers to redraw the state’s six congressional districts.
The Judge ordered the GOP legislature to include two districts where Black voters were in the majority.
The victory may be temporary as the Court said they will take up this case and a similar one in Alabama in the Court’s next term.
The Court issued a one-page order that said:
“The application for stay presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is granted.
“The district court’s June 6, 2022 preliminary injunctions in No. 3:22-CV-211 and No. 3:22- CV-214 are stayed.
“In addition, the application for stay is treated as a petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment, and the petition is granted.
“The case is held in abeyance pending this Court’s decision in Merrill, AL Sec. of State, et al. v. Milligan, Evan, et al. (No. 21-1086 and No. 21-1087) or further order of the Court.
“The stay shall terminate upon the sending down of the judgment of this Court.
“Justice Breyer, Justice Sotomayor, and Justice Kagan would deny the application for stay and dissent from the treatment of the application as a petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment and the granting of certiorari before judgment,” the ruling said.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry had asked the Supreme Court to block the lower court opinion saying the state’s congressional boundaries can’t be drawn to create two majority-black districts without “segregating the races for purposes of voting” which is a violation of court precedent.
“It is impossible to draw a map without prioritizing race as the predominant factor in order to generate a second majority-minority district, which federal courts have cautioned Louisiana not to do in the past,” he argued.
“Right now, we are deferred but not defeated,” said Ashley Shelton, president of the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, one of many plaintiffs in the case.
“This moment is disheartening. It’s not what we were hoping for, but we will continue to fight for equity and justice in Louisiana.
“The people in our state need a map that will provide fair representation, so we will wait.
“While we wait, we will continue to fight to mobilize our communities so all Black voters can be heard,” Ashley said.
Louisiana’s Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards said:
“Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court is more than a little disappointing.
“Black Louisianans make up one-third of our population, and one-third of our districts should be majority black when such a map can be drawn, and, as has been clearly demonstrated, that map is more compact, better adheres to the legal principles governing redistricting, and will perform.”
BREAKING: The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a stay of the district court judge’s injunctions on Louisiana Congressional redistricting maps and has granted cert. #lalege #lagov #scotus pic.twitter.com/SEBTcwhbqN
— AG Jeff Landry (@AGJeffLandry) June 28, 2022