Lawsuit filed on behalf of voters and civil rights groups challenging Louisiana’s new congressional map. The complaint points out that, even though Black residents make up one-third of Louisiana’s population, they can only elect their candidate of choice in one out of the six congressional districts. The plaintiffs argue that, by failing to include a second minority opportunity district, this new congressional map dilutes the voting strength of Black residents in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Because of this, the plaintiffs ask the court to block the map and order the creation of a new map that includes a second minority opportunity district in compliance with the VRA. The case was consolidated with Galmon v. Ardoin.
On June 6, 2022, a preliminary injunction was granted blocking the congressional map for the 2022 election cycle, which the defendants immediately appealed. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an administrative stay (meaning pause) of the district court’s order, but three days later vacated the administrative stay and denied the motion to stay pending appeal.
The state then filed an emergency application in the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to pause the district court’s preliminary injunction. In a 6-3 order, the Supreme Court granted the application, thereby reinstating the previously blocked congressional map. The Court’s conservative justices also agreed to review the case before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision and paused the case until the Court decides a similar case about Alabama’s congressional map.
On Monday, June 26, 2023, the Supreme Court unpaused the order blocking Louisiana’s congressional map and sent the case back to the 5th Circuit for further litigation. The 5th Circuit scheduled oral argument for Oct. 6 on the state’s appeal of the order blocking the map. On Sept. 28, a majority of a separate panel of 5th Circuit judges granted a writ of mandamus requested by the state, thereby cancelling the scheduled Oct. 3-5 remedial hearing in the district court. The remedial hearing would have determined how the state’s likely Section 2 violation would be remedied for the 2024 election.
On Sept. 29, 2023, the plaintiffs appealed the 5th Circuit’s order canceling the remedial hearing to the Supreme Court and asked for an emergency pause and reversal of the order. The Supreme Court declined to pause and reverse the order on Oct. 19.
On Nov. 10, 2023, the 5th Circuit vacated the preliminary injunction but affirmed that Louisiana’s congressional map likely violated the VRA and set a timeline for new districts to be implemented. The 5th Circuit also affirmed that private plaintiffs can bring claims under Section 2 of the VRA in the 5th Circuit. On Dec. 1, Louisiana Republicans asked the entire 5th Circuit to rehear this decision, which the 5th Circuit declined to do on Dec. 15.
A remedial hearing is scheduled to take place in the district court on Feb. 5, 2024. On Jan. 22, 2024, Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R) signed a bill into law creating a new congressional map for the state featuring two majority-Black districts.
Case Documents (U.S. Supreme Court- 2023 Emergency Application)
Case Documents (U.S. Supreme Court)
Case Documents (5th circuit – MANDAMUS request)
Case Documents (5th Circuit)
Case Documents (District court)