Federal judge blocks Louisiana congressional map with one black district
As nearly one-third of the state's population is black, the Democratic governor said lawmakers should have made a second majority black district
A federal judge on Monday blocked Louisiana from using newly drawn congressional maps that contain one mostly Black district.
Baton Rouge District Judge Shelly Dick ordered the Louisiana Legislature to create a remedial plan by June 20, The Associated Press reported. State officials have already filed a notice of appeal.
The June 20 deadline for a new map comes one month before the qualifying period for candidates before the November midterm election.
"If the Legislature is unable to pass a remedial plan by that date, the Court will issue additional orders to enact a remedial plan compliant with the laws and Constitution of the United States," Dick wrote.
Democratic Gov. John Bell Edwards vetoed the maps drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislature earlier this year. His veto was overridden, leading to a lawsuit by voting rights advocates.
As nearly one-third of the state's population is black, Edwards said lawmakers should have made a second majority black district among the six.
Louisiana NAACP leader Mike McClanahan celebrated the judge's ruling.
"Today’s decision is welcome news for Black voters in Louisiana who, for decades, have been racially gerrymandered into a single district that has diluted the power of their vote and their ability to elect candidates of their choice," he said in a press release. "A new map with two majority-Black districts will finally give Black voters the full representation that is their right."
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