May 16, 2024

Supreme Court Reinstates Black Congressional District in Louisiana

A ruling just handed down by the Supreme Court has me baffled, quite frankly.

The case is regarding new congressional maps in Louisiana that were modified to create an all-black district.

Yet, it was the conservative justices that approved the map and the liberal justices that dissented in the ruling.

The Decision

Initially, the new map created a mostly black district that would guarantee Democrats an additional seat in Congress.

What baffles me, however, is that, as the lower court ruled, this is clearly a racially gerrymandered district, which is illegal based on previous court rulings.

Having said that, given that the election was so close, the conservative justices seemed content to leave the map as is so people would not be confused about who they were voting for in the local elections.

For instance, Justice Kavanaugh, in a similar case two years ago regarding Alabama congressional maps, stated, “When an election is close at hand, the rules of the road must be clear and settled.”

The ruling came down 6-3, so the stay against redoing the maps will remain in place.

Jared Evans, an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, took the victory, stating, “We are very relieved that SCOTUS agreed with us that it’s too close to the election to insert uncertainty. ... We will have a map with 2 majority black districts this fall.”

The map that will be used, by the way, was encouraged by Republican Governor Jeff Landry, who drew from the Shreveport, Alexandria, Lafayette and Baton Rouge areas to create the new mostly black district.

I am not a legal expert, per se, but I have a pretty good understanding of the law and our Constitution, which is why I am so baffled by every aspect of this decision.

What has me even more baffled is that we go through these challenges every census, and they always seem to last years after due to massive gerrymandering complaints.

There has to be a better way to draw these maps in a bipartisan fashion or with a nonpartisan committee rather than turning the maps over to the party in charge, who will always take advantage to give their party an even bigger advantage in the next election.

There just has to be a better way…

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