The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to restore Republican-drawn lines in Louisiana ahead of the midterms as Democrats pushed to create a second black-majority district.
The court issued an order that restored a congressional voting map that a federal judge said disenfranchised black voters. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan would have denied the application for stay.
NEW: The Supreme Court restores GOP-drawn lines for fall congressional elections in Louisiana. Democrats were pushing for a second black-majority district. Another L for the Elias Law Group at #SCOTUS pic.twitter.com/AS0704Bgpr
— Kevin Daley 🏛 (@KevinDaleyDC) June 28, 2022
The high court issued the stay and said it would wait to act until it hears a similar dispute playing out in Alabama that will be argued in the next term. The court ruled 5-4 in February to allow the Alabama congressional map to remain in place until arguments are heard.
Louisiana, which is made up of six congressional districts, recently created a new voting map in which just one district had a black voter majority despite a third of the state’s population being black. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed the map in March saying it was unfair, but the legislature overrode the veto, Reuters reported.
Federal Judge Shelly D. Dick ruled the map violated the Voting Rights Act because the map allegedly put black voters in one area and said legislators must create a second majority-black district, according to CNN. (RELATED: New York High Court Throws Out Congressional Map For ‘Impermissibly’ Favoring Democrats)
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry argued that the state could not redraw the congressional map to create two black-majority districts without “segregating the races for the purpose of voting,” according to CNN.
“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,” Landry said in court papers, according to CNN.
The suit was brought in part by Elias Law Group, who represented a group of Louisiana voters arguing the redistricting violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The firm has done work for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee which led efforts to redraw congressional districts in both New York and Maryland that were alleged to be gerrymandered, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Partner Marc Elias has accused Republicans of gerrymandering and tried to block newly drawn maps in both North Carolina and Ohio, claiming they were unfair for Democrats. Elias was also sanctioned for violating ethics rules in a Texas voting lawsuit in 2021.
Editor-in-chief of The Federalist Mollie Hemingway called Elias the “big Dem election fixer” in a May tweet regarding a mail-in ballot dispute.