The Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday to reinstate Louisiana's redistricting map, in time for the 2022 midterm elections, freezing a lower court's ruling that says the Republican-drawn map is racially biased. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
June 28 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday to reinstate Louisiana's Republican-drawn congressional map, freezing a lower court's ruling that says it violates the Voting Rights Act.
The court's decision resets the map for the 2022 midterm election, despite arguments it is racially biased and would dilute the power of Black voters.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry asked the court to freeze the lower court's opinion.
"It is impossible to draw a map without prioritizing race as the predominant factor in order to generate a second majority-minority district, which federal courts have cautioned Louisiana not to do in the past," he told justices in court papers.
The justices agreed to put the lower court's ruling on hold pending a decision next term on a similar dispute out of Alabama. The three liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, dissented in Tuesday's ruling.
The map passed Louisiana's legislature and was vetoed in March by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards who said it "runs afoul of federal law."
"I have vetoed the proposed congressional map drawn by Louisiana's legislature because it does not include a second majority African American district, despite Black voters making up almost a third of Louisianans per the latest U.S. Census data," the governor said.
"This map is simply not fair to the people of Louisiana and does not meet the standards set forth in the federal Voting Rights Act."
The Republican-controlled legislature overrode Edwards' veto keeping Louisiana's 2nd Congressional District -- which stretches from Baton Rouge to New Orleans -- the only majority Black district likely to favor Democrats.
Earlier this month, a federal court in Louisiana blocked the map and ordered state lawmakers to draw a new map with an additional majority-Black congressional district by June 20, in time for the midterm election. The change would have likely given Democrats an additional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.