Lawsuit aims to block Louisiana’s new congressional map that has a majority-black 2nd district

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana Legislature redrawn congressional map giving the state a majority-black second district is being challenged by 12 self-described “non-African-American” voters in a new lawsuit.

The challenge filed Wednesday and assigned to a Lafayette judge says the map, which Republican lawmakers accepted following a 2022 federal lawsuit filed in Baton Rouge, is the result of “classic racial gerrymandering.”

He is seeking an order blocking the map’s use in this year’s elections and the appointment of a three-judge panel to oversee the matter.

At least one person, Sen. Cleo Fields, a black Democrat from Baton Rouge, has already said he will run in the new district. It’s unclear how the lawsuit will affect that district or the 2022 litigation, which is still ongoing.

New government district boundaries are redrawn by legislatures every 10 years to account for population changes reflected in census data. The Louisiana Legislature drew a new map in 2022 that was challenged by voting rights advocates because only one of the six maps for the U.S. House of Representatives was majority black, even though the population of the The state is about one-third black. A veto of the map by the government of the time. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, was removed.

In June 2022, Baton Rouge-based U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick issued an injunction against the map, saying challengers would likely win their case claiming it violated the Voting Rights Act. While the case was under appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an unexpected ruling in June that favored black voters in a congressional vote. Alabama redistricting case.

In November, the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals gave the state a January deadline to designate a new congressional district.

Governor. Jeff Landry, a Republican who succeeded Edwards in January, was state attorney general and was among the GOP leaders who opposed Dick’s decisions. But he called a special session to redraw the map, saying Parliament should do it rather than the federal government…

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