Black Voters Appeal Decision Blocking New Louisiana Map to US Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Black voters are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review yesterday’s decision by two Trump-appointed federal judges that blocked Louisiana’s new congressional map with two majority-Black districts. 

United States Supreme Court in Washington DC (Adobe Stock)
United States Supreme Court in Washington DC (Adobe Stock)

This appeal stems from a lawsuit filed by “non-African American voters”  against Louisiana’s recently enacted congressional map that included two majority-Black districts. The state’s new congressional map was enacted earlier this year as a result of a different lawsuit brought by Black voters. 

Once the new map was implemented, in January, self described non-African American voters filed their own lawsuit challenging the new map. 

The notice of appeal lists several reasons why the Supreme Court should review the case. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Black voters argue the federal panel did not follow the proper procedure and heard the case without the input of Black voters who originally challenged the state’s map.

Yesterday, in a 2-1 decision, a federal three-judge panel — composed of one Clinton and two Trump appointees — in Louisiana’s western district, struck down the state’s congressional map for being an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. This is the latest setback in Louisiana voters’ long path to a fair congressional map, which first began in 2022. 

In response to the order, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder slammed the decision calling it “shameful” adding that it “unnecessarily puts Louisianians’ right to vote in a very precarious position.”

Last year, Louisiana was ordered to enact a map with two majority-Black districts after courts found that the state’s original map — which only had one majority-Black district — violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The state eventually adopted a plan in January 2024 that increased the Black makeup of the state’s 6th Congressional District — stretching from Shreveport to Baton Rouge that is currently held by U.S. Rep Garret Graves (R) — from 23% to 54%. 

In response to the state’s new, fair map with two majority-Black districts, voters who self-identified as “non-African American” quickly filed their own lawsuit hoping to block the map. Alleging that the new map was a racial gerrymander, the plaintiffs asked the court to block its use for the 2024 elections and since November is rapidly approaching, the case went to trial in early April. In yesterday’s order, the panel found that the new districts aimed at better representing the state’s Black population are racially gerrymandered. 

Black voters in Louisiana have been fighting for a fair congressional map for over two years and even voted under an illegal map in 2022. The state needs a map by May 15, according to Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill (R), and will also seek the U.S. Supreme Court’s review, noting that the current legal landscape “has made it impossible to not have federal judges drawing maps. It’s not right and they need to fix it.” 

Slate senior writer Mark Joseph Stern — who covers the courts and law — highlighted the implications of a potential Supreme Court review, writing on X that the judges who struck down the map are “pressing the Supreme Court to rule that the Voting Rights Act (or what remains of it) is unconstitutional… Extremely cynical and partisan gamesmanship.”

Read the notice of appeal here.

Learn more about the Callais case here.

Learn more about the Section 2 redistricting case here.