WASHINGTON D.C. (BRPROUD) – The fight over fair representation continues as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to take on a high-stakes redistricting case Tuesday, October 4.

The case that will go before the highest court in the U.S. involves Alabama’s congressional map, and its outcome will have a significant impact on Louisiana.

Louisiana’s congressional maps have faced scrutiny as a second majority minority district has not been created. This, despite the most recent census indicating that the state’s population is nearly one-third Black.

The one majority minority district is anchored in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where the seat is held by Congressman Troy Carter.

Those in support of creating a second district believe the two cities should be in separate districts. They also argue that because one third of the state’s population is not White, a third of the districts should be opportunity districts.

But the Republican-led legislature approved a map that maintained the status-quo by keeping only one minority district.

Republicans defended their position by explaining that the creation of two majority minority districts would result in such a reduction of margins that the election of a minority candidate would be unlikely.

The law only requires a district to be 50%+1 to be considered a majority minority.

The maps drawn by democrats hovered around 51-53% in different variations. They argued the maps do not need to ensure a Black candidate is elected, but rather provide the opportunity. 

Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed the congressional map, but it was swiftly overturned by the legislature during the regular session.

Middle District Judge Shelly Dick ordered the legislature to draw a new map in June, which led to a special session immediately after the regular session wrapped up.

All maps that created a second district were either voted down or not allowed to leave committee. This meant the special session concluded with the same map.

There was still a stay on the GOP passed map at that time. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to freeze Judge Dick’s order, but the request was rejected stating that there was, “much to prove when the merits are ultimately decided” and that there was enough time to pass a new map before the state’s primary election.

Ardoin then went to the Supreme Court asking to put the order on hold.

The Supreme Court allowed the GOP-supported map to go into effect for the elections this year while the Alabama case plays out.

Justices feared a decision on Louisiana could impact how the Alabama case plays out.

Louisiana’s maps won’t have a hearing until sometime in 2023, after the Alabama decision comes down.