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Supreme Court orders Louisiana to keep contested congressional map for 2024 election

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, April 25, 2024, in Washington. The Associated Press/Photo by Mariam Zuhaib

Supreme Court orders Louisiana to keep contested congressional map for 2024 election

The brief emergency order came down Wednesday night. The Court required Louisiana to hold its 2024 congressional elections using a map with a second district that comprises mostly black constituents. The Supreme Court’s order reversed a lower court’s ruling last month that called the new district an illegal racial gerrymander that violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Other states like South Carolina and Alabama also have redistricting lawsuits pending in the judicial system but Wednesday’s order only pertained to Louisiana.

What was the Supreme Court’s reasoning for its decision? The high court did not address the lower court’s ruling that the state’s new congressional map was improperly influenced by race. Instead, it ordered Louisiana to use the new map in the November election because changing it so close to an election could cause confusion. The high court could rule later on the constitutionality of Louisiana’s redistricting process.

Did any of the justices disagree? The court’s three liberal justices dissented from the order, with Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson arguing that the Supreme Court’s emergency intervention is unnecessary, and any appeals process should be played out at the lower court level. She said it is not too late to make changes to the map. Jackson argued that there have been previous cases when changes to the voting process were made much closer to Election Day without causing confusion.

Why is the congressional map so important? The new map includes a second mostly black congressional district among the state’s total of six districts. Some analysts believe the change could boost Democrats’ chances of gaining control of the closely-contested House of Representatives in the 2024 election.

Dig Deeper: Listen to Leo Briceno’s report on The World and Everything in It about efforts to preserve the integrity of U.S. elections.

Travis K. Kircher

Travis is the associate breaking news editor for WORLD.

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