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Federal court rejects Louisiana congressional map

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Wallis Watkins
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This story was originally published on the Louisiana Illuminator.

A federal judge has struck down Louisiana’s congressional redistricting map that state lawmakers adopted earlier this year. In a ruling issued Monday, Judge Shelly Dick found the Legislature limited representation of Louisiana’s one-third Black population to just one of its six U.S. House seats.

NAACP attorney Jared Evans, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of several Black voters, confirmed the news to the Illuminator as the Legislature prepared to wrap up its final day of the 2022 regular session.

“The ruling is 157 pages detailing racial discrimination on top of bigotry,” Evans said, adding that Dick, a federal court appointee of President Barack Obama, “even found the (lawmakers’) vote itself was racially polarized.

The judge was “very very clear” that the only remedy is for the Legislature to adopt a map with two majority-minority congressional districts, Evans said.

Rep. John Stefanski, who led the redistricting effort in the state House, said he was not surprised by the ruling but expects the map to be upheld on appeal.

Lawmakers have already filed an appeal with the U.S. Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, Evans said.

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