On Monday, a federal judge blocked the newly drawn congressional maps in Louisiana that had only one predominantly Black district, and ordered the GOP-controlled Legislature to redraw a new map by June 20, 2022, NBC News reports.
“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,” the judge wrote.
U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick’s 150-page ruling was immediately appealed by State officials.
Earlier this year, the Republican-dominated Legislature drew the congressional map in a special session. In response, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed the maps but his veto was overridden which led to a lawsuit by voting rights advocates.
Edwards argued that legislators should have “included a second majority-Black district among the six districts they approved, noting that the state’s population is almost one-third, Black.”
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, the state’s top election official who happens to be a Republican, officially filed a notice of appeal with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Because she blocked the use of the map pending further elections, Dick said those filing the lawsuit were likely to prevail based on their argument that the newly drawn districts are in direct violation of the federal Voting Rights Act.
The judge also blocked Ardoin from conducting future elections using the new congressional map.