WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted an emergency application from Louisiana Republicans seeking to reinstate its congressional map for the 2022 election cycle, putting the previously blocked map in place for the 2022 elections. After a federal district court blocked the map earlier this year for likely diluting the voting strength of Black Louisianans in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and ordered the state to adopt a new map with a second majority-Black district, the defendants immediately filed an emergency application in the Supreme Court. In a 6-3 order released today, the Court reinstated the map, agreed to review the case before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in on the case (in legal lingo, this is called granting certiorari before judgment) and paused the case until the Court decides a similar case about Alabama’s congressional map this fall. The Court’s three liberal justices dissented from the order.
Under the newly reinstated congressional map, Black voters in Louisiana can only elect the candidate of their choice in one out of six congressional districts, despite making up one-third of the state’s population. This action on the Court’s shadow docket follows similar activity in Alabama, where conservative justices ordered the use of a congressional map that was blocked for likely violating the VRA.