Louisiana, Majority-Black House District, 2024 Election, Baton Rogue Capital

Louisiana Residents May Have To Vote Again For Second Majority-Black House District Ahead Of 2024 Election 

Black voters in Louisiana are at risk of having to vote again for a second majority-Black district after a federal court ruled it unconstitutional.

Black voters in Louisiana are at risk of having to vote again for a second majority-Black district after a federal court ruled it unconstitutional.

Almost two years after a judge said the state’s congressional map diminished Black voting powers in 2022, the new ruling, handed down by two judges appointed by former President Donald Trump on April 30, leaves the state–again–without a congressional map just six months shy of the 2024 presidential election. 

The federal court that struck down the most recent congressional map held a hearing on May 6 regarding the next steps. Officials argue that the continued legal battle over the map is putting them in a difficult position between the stipulations laid out in the Voting Rights Act, which gives power to minority voters, and the Constitution’s limits on how the government can step in to add race as a consideration. 

In early 2024, a group of non-Black voters filed a lawsuit against that map, alleging the new district divided key communities of interest and amounted to a “racial gerrymander.” 

Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill issued a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying the state should be allowed to implement the map passed by the state legislature, permitting two Black-majority districts. If that doesn’t happen, she feels the next option should be going back to the map used in 2022–with a single district where Black voters are in the majority. 

Murrill says the next stop is the Supreme Court. Given the pattern of courts brushing off redistricting plans that are discriminatory against voters of color, voters will be looking closely at how the high court deals with the growing dispute. Sen. Cleo Fields, who is also running for the new 6th Congressional District, says the practices continue to move in different ways. “Right now, Louisiana has no map,” Fields said.

“The courts can’t say, ‘Comply with the law. You have the right to draw the lines,’ but then say, ‘We don’t like the way you complied with the law.’” 

U.S. Rep. Troy Carter, the state’s sole Black and Democratic member of Congress, also criticized the ruling on social media, calling it “plain wrong.” MATH is MATH! The U.S. Supreme Court must correct this immediately,” he tweeted.

State officials gave notice that lawmakers have until May 15 to announce how they will contour their ruling to prepare for upcoming elections. However, federal judges warned the state Legislature that a new map must pass by June 3, or the panel will create one on their behalf, according to The Associated Press. “To be clear, the fact that the Court is proceeding with the remedial phase of this case does not foreclose the Louisiana Legislature from exercising its ‘sovereign interest’ by drawing a legally compliant map,” the judges wrote.