BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The United States Supreme Court is blocking the creation of a second Black majority Congressional district from being created in time for the fall election.
A stay issued today from Justice Samuel Alito blocks a ruling from Chief Judge Shelly Dick that the Congressional maps approved by the Louisiana legislature should include another majority Black congressional district.
Judge Dick has scheduled a hearing to be held on Wednesday to go over remedial Congressional maps after Louisiana lawmakers failed to approve a new map during a special session called by Governor John Bel Edwards.
In his ruling Wednesday, Justice Alito indicated the Louisiana case is on hold until the Supreme Court determines the fate of a similar situation in Alabama. The Supreme Court also blocked the creation of a second majority-Black congressional district in Alabama for the 2022 election.
Earlier this month Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin asked the Supreme Court to put Judge Dick’s ruling on hold saying it “throws the election process into chaos, and creates confusion statewide.”
Landry tweeted out on Tuesday: “We are grateful #SCOTUS has ended this legal circus. LA’s Congressmen can run in districts drawn by #lalege and passed w/overwhelming support in both chambers. Additionally, @Louisiana_sos can conduct an efficient and orderly election that ensures every legal vote is counted.”
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and lawmakers are reacting to the news:
“Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court is more than a little disappointing,” said Gov. Edwards in a statement. “The District Court’s well-reasoned 157-page decision clearly demonstrated that the maps passed by the legislature do not comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Black Louisianans make up one-third of our population, and one-third of our districts should be majority Black when such a map can be drawn, and, as has been clearly demonstrated, that map is more compact, better adheres to the legal principles governing redistricting, and will perform. As I have always maintained, it is about simple math, basic fairness, and the rule of law.”
“In another despicable ruling, #SCOTUS granted a stay on Louisiana’s congressional map, denying 33% of our voters’ fair representation! We will keep fighting for a 2nd majority Black district,” tweeted State Representative Royce Duplessis.
“I am very pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to halt the chaos created by Judge Dick’s earlier order & is allowing Louisiana’s congressional races to proceed with the map enacted by the legislature, which we have always maintained is constitutional,” tweeted State Senator Sharon Hewitt.
“On behalf of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus (LLBC), we are disheartened to see that the Supreme Court has put on hold the drawing of new Louisiana congressional districts before the 2022 elections,” said Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus Chairman and State Rep. Vincent Pierre. “I am proud of the work that we in the LLBC have done along with our legal team, the NAACP, and Power Coalition to continue to fight to increase black voting power here in Louisiana, but our hopes for change in the short term have been dashed. We maintain that the current map is an obvious violation of Section 2 of the voting rights act, and with this decision we will be forced to continue forward into the next election with this map in place, having one minority district. It is our hope that the Court will come to rule in our favor to resolve the issue of underrepresentation for minorities in our state.”
“I am very disappointed in the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, and it appears that the court has become more political in recent years,” said Senator Cleo Fields. “Although I am disappointed in the court’s ruling, as I have said all along, we must respect the ruling of the court. I am hopeful that when the court finally reviews the merits of this case, they will see that the facts are so strongly on the side of the plaintiffs that there will be no other way to rule than in favor of creating a second majority-black congressional district.”
“This Supreme Court is out of control in so many ways, but one thing is clear: It will stop at nothing to silence the voice of Black & Brown voters in the South and across the country,” tweeted Congressman Troy A. Carter. “These partisan hacks are loyal not to the Constitution, but to a far-right political agenda.”
“The primary function of the Secretary of State is to ensure elections are conducted in a secure and equitable manner,” said Secretary of State, Kyle Ardoin. “We work hard, year-round, to guarantee that Louisiana’s elections run effectively and securely. Today’s ruling by the United States Supreme Court gives us the ability to continue working to implement secure elections this fall for all voters in Louisiana.”
The Supreme Court is expected to take up the Alabama case this fall.