Obama-Appointed Federal Judge Approves Georgia GOP’s Newly Drawn Congressional Maps

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A federal judge upheld Georgia’s new GOP-drawn congressional and legislative maps over objections from Democrats and voting rights groups.

Lawmakers redrew the maps after District Court Judge Steve Jones, an Obama appointee, found in October they diluted the minority vote in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Jones wrote in an order Thursday that the additional black majority districts included in the new maps solve the vote dilution problem, even though Republicans reconfigured existing districts to maintain their majority advantage.

“The court finds that the general assembly fully complied with this court’s order requiring the creation of Black-majority districts in the regions of the state where vote dilution was found,” Jones wrote. (RELATED: New York’s Highest Court Allows Dems To Redraw Congressional Map, With Potentially Massive Consequences)

Jones’ October ruling prohibited lawmakers from solving the vote dilution problem “by eliminating minority districts elsewhere.” The new maps modified districts currently held by Democrats, such as Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath’s district, where minority voters do not comprise a majority, according to The Associated Press.

“I won’t let Republicans decide when my time in Congress is over,” McBath said Thursday in a fundraising email, according to AP.

“[R]edistricting decisions by a legislative body with an eye toward securing partisan advantage does not alone violate Section 2,” Jones wrote Thursday. “In fact, the Supreme Court has expressly stated that federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, given the lack of constitutional authority and the absence of legal standards to direct such decisions.”

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