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'Big Win for Democracy' as SCOTUS OKs Redrawing of Rigged Louisiana Congressional Map

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SCOTUS - Democracy defenders in Louisiana and beyond on Monday applauded the U.S. Supreme Court for allowing the redrawing of a racially gerrymandered congressional map—a move that will add a second majority-Black district in the Southern state where 1 in 3 residents are African-American. 

The Supreme Court rejectedArdoin v. Robinson, Republican Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin's appeal of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on Louisiana's congressional map and  Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The justices sent the case back to the lower court. 

The justices had planned on hearing Ardoin, but reversed course and lifted a temporary hold they had placed on the lower court's order to create a second majority-Black congressional district in Louisiana, where 1.5 million of 4.6 million residents are African-American. There are six congressional districts in the Pelican State. 

"Louisiana voters deserve fair maps that guarantee equal representation—and it looks like we're going to get them," the Louisiana Democratic Party tweeted in response to the news.

Congressman Troy Carter, A Democrat who represents Louisiana's sole majority-Black congressional district, called the Supreme Court's move "great news" for the state. 

"This decision shows that in a healthy democracy fair and equitable representation matters, whether to the people of Louisiana or anywhere else in the world," Carter tweeted. 

Center for American Progress Action, a progressive policy institute, hailed what it called "great news for our democracy."

One year ago, the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority voted 6-3 to issue an order reinstating the racially rigged congressional map after Louisiana Republicans applied for emergency relief on grounds that Ardoin "presents the same question as" an Alabama case, Allen v. Milligan.

The high court granted the Republican request and paused the ruling blocking Louisiana's map pending the outcome of Allen. Earlier this month, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court's three liberal justices in siding with Black voters who challenged Alabama's GOP-gerrymandered congressional map. 

"Today's decision follows on the heels of the court's 5-4 ruling earlier this month holding that Alabama also has to redraw its congressional district maps to include a second majority-minority district," said University of Texas School of Law professor and CNN Supreme Court Steve Vladeck. 

"And like the Alabama ruling, it doesn't explain why the court nevertheless had issued emergency relief to allow Louisiana to use its unlawful maps during the 2022 midterm cycle," he added. "It puts the court's interventions last year into ever-sharper perspective."

(Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for CommonDreams.org where this article was first published.)

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