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Louisiana lawmakers approve a brand new congressional map with a second majority-Black district

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Louisiana state lawmakers authorised a brand new congressional map on Friday, drawing a second majority-Black district to adjust to a courtroom order.

A federal courtroom had dominated in 2022 that Louisiana’s Republican-controlled legislature had illegally disenfranchised Black voters within the state with their earlier redistricting plan. After greater than a 12 months of appeals and a U.S. Supreme Courtroom ruling forcing a brand new map in the same case in Alabama, state lawmakers got down to redraw the Louisiana map this week.

The state is sort of a 3rd Black, however 5 of the state’s congressional districts are a majority white. Louisiana’s 2nd District, which is majority Black, is at present represented by Rep. Troy Carter, a Democrat.

The brand new map will decrease the Black voting-age inhabitants in Carter’s district to 51 p.c, whereas drawing a brand new sixth District as a slim strip by the middle of the state, from Shreveport to Baton Rouge. That district may have a Black voting-age inhabitants of 53 p.c.

GOP Rep. Garret Graves represents the present iteration of Louisiana’s sixth District, which has a Black voting-age inhabitants of 23 p.c.

The brand new map now goes to Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry, a Republican, for his signature. The newly sworn-in governor dedicated to supporting the map earlier this week.

“These maps will fulfill the courtroom and be sure that the Congressional districts of our state are made proper right here on this legislature and never by some heavy-handed federal decide,” Landry stated in a ground speech on Tuesday.

State Sen. Glen Womack, a Republican who sponsored the map, stated on the state Home ground that the map creates two districts with a majority of Black voters whereas deliberately preserving secure Republican districts of U.S. Home Speaker Rep. Mike Johnson, Majority Chief Rep. Steve Scalise, and Rep. Julia Letlow, the primary Republican lady elected to the Home from the state.

“If we don’t act, it’s very clear that the federal courtroom will impose the plaintiff’s proposed map on our state and we don’t need that,” Womack instructed state Home lawmakers on Friday afternoon.

The map was handed after a tumultuous week marked by hours-long delays to hearings and deliberate votes, as state lawmakers and events engaged in heated negotiations over the maps.

Carter’s allies lobbied aggressively to have extra Black voters saved in his district, a supply accustomed to negotiations stated, however in the end failed when Home lawmakers stripped an modification from the invoice on Friday after which instantly voted to move it.

“Everyone likes to eat sausage, however no one likes to see the way it’s made. And it has been painful and it’s been painful for all of us, but it surely’s easy: we’re beneath a federal decide’s mandate,” stated Republican state Rep. Beau Beaullieu IV on the ground on Friday afternoon.

In an interview shortly earlier than the map handed, Davante Lewis, the state’s Democratic Public Service Commissioner and a plaintiff within the case difficult the maps, criticized Carter and stated he was making an attempt to “torpedo” the map to forestall a white, progressive candidate from taking his seat.

In an interview shortly earlier than the invoice’s passage, Carter dismissed the concept and stated he was making an attempt to make sure the Black lawmakers get elected.

“I’m undecided the place he will get that or why he thinks that, that is about profiting from a historic alternative to create two African American congressional seats,” he stated, defending lawmakers’ proper to barter for his or her most popular maps. “Who is aware of the districts extra intimately than folks which can be concerned? ‘Course I weighed in to reply questions and shared my views.”

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