Voters suing over Louisiana’s proposed congressional districts call map ‘morally repugnant’

A group of mostly White voters that is challenging Louisiana’s proposed congressional districts called the map “morally repugnant” in a filing with the Supreme Court on Monday.

The high court is considering an emergency appeal over a map drawn by state lawmakers that includes a second majority-Black district in Louisiana’s six-district congressional plan. A conservative-leaning lower court recently ruled against that map, finding that its creation violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

The second majority-Black district was drawn in response to another court ruling that found an earlier map, which had only one majority-Black district, likely ran afoul of the Voting Rights Act. A federal judge had concluded that the earlier map discriminated against Louisiana’s Black voters, who make up nearly a third of the state’s population but accounted for a majority of voters in just one of the state’s six congressional districts.

The new map “is morally repugnant,” the group of mostly White voters told the Supreme Court in the latest filing. “It’s not a close call.”

Because the case raises fundamental questions about how mapmakers consider race when they redraw congressional boundaries every decade, the Supreme Court’s decision could have national implications. It could also affect control of the US House, where Republicans hold a narrow majority.

Louisiana officials and a group of Black voters asked the Supreme Court last week to intervene in the fight, urging the high court to quickly resolve a dispute that has essentially left the state without a viable map for this year’s election.

“Five days out from May 15 – the date by which the Louisiana Secretary of State needs to begin implementing a congressional map for the 2024 elections – Louisiana has no congressional map,” the state told the Supreme Court on Friday. “Louisiana’s impossible situation in this redistricting cycle would be comical if it were not so serious.”

The voters challenging the map described that warning as “oddly shrill” and said lower courts have “ample time” before the November election.

The Supreme Court could decide whether to allow the map to be used on a temporary basis as soon as this week.

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