12 “Non-African American” Louisiana Voters File Suit Over New Congressional Map
The plaintiffs, who all identify themselves as "non-African American" voters, are residents of parishes across the state: Caddo, Lafayette, Ouachita, West and East Baton Rouge, Rapides, Ascension, and St. Bernard.
Louisiana Secretary of State Nancy Landry is named as defendant in the case, only in her official capacity as the chief election officer of the state.
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana-- Monroe Division, argues that the map divides the districts into "six bizarre shapes" and accuses the state of:
explicit, racial segregation of voters and intentional discrimination against voters based on race.
Citing the Hays v. Louisiana case, the plaintiffs believe the map approved in January by the Louisiana Legislature and Governor Jeff Landry is unconstitutional racial gerrymandering.
The complaint requests that a three-judge court hear the complaint which contends that the map is a "Violation of Civil Rights Protected by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution."
The believe they have:
standing to challenge SB8 because the law classifies and segregates them into distinct districts based on their races for purposes of voting.
The most recently drawn map creates two districts that, essentially, bisect the state diagonally from Caddo Parish through the New Orleans area, carving out two majority-minority congressional districts.
The courts have ruled that, because the population of Louisiana is 30% African American, two of the six districts should include a majority of Black voters. A federal court struck down the previous map for violating the Voting Rights Act.
The plaintiffs are requesting that relief come in the form of an injunction.
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Gallery Credit: Kevin Miller