U.S. Supreme Court lifts stay on district court ruling that overturned Louisiana’s congressional boundaries

The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s (R) appeal on June 26 of a federal district court ruling that held that Louisiana’s congressional district map should include an additional majority-minority district. The Supreme Court also lifted its 2022 stay of the federal court’s decision and allowed the case to proceed before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court’s order said, “This will allow the matter to proceed before the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for review in the ordinary course and in advance of the 2024 congressional elections in Louisiana.”

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana struck down the state’s congressional map on June 6, 2022, saying in its ruling, “The appropriate remedy in this context is a remedial congressional redistricting plan that includes an additional majority-Black congressional district.”

Ardoin and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) asked the U.S. Supreme Court on June 17, 2022, to stay the federal district court’s decision overturning the map pending appeal and petitioned the court to hear the case. The court stayed the district court’s ruling on June 28, 2022. It also granted certiorari in the case and held it in abeyance pending the court’s decision in Milligan v. Merrill, which also involved a challenge to a redistricting map under the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court’s stay meant that the map the legislature adopted in March 2022 was used for the 2022 elections.

Louisiana enacted new congressional district boundaries on March 30, 2022, when the legislature overrode Gov. John Bel Edwards’ (D) veto of legislation establishing the new districts. The state Senate voted to override the veto of the congressional map, 27-11, with all ‘yes’ votes from Republicans and all ‘no’ votes from Democrats. The state House of Representatives overrode Edwards’ veto 72-32 with 68 Republicans, three independents, and one Democrat voting in favor and all votes against by Democrats.

After the legislature approved the map in February 2022, Edwards released a statement that said in part, “I remain adamant that the maps should reflect the growth of the African American population in our state over the last 10 years, allowing for minority groups to have an opportunity at electing candidates of their own choosing, and I do have concerns that several of the maps do not fulfill that moral and legal requirement.”

In the 2022 elections, Republicans won five U.S. House districts and Democrats won one.

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