WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, soon after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed new legislative maps into law, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Sixth District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Georgia voters sued over the new state House and Senate maps. The lawsuit, the first to be filed against the new legislative maps, argues that the districts dilute the voting strength of Black Georgians in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The plaintiffs ask the court to block the maps and order the creation of new maps that do not dilute the voting power of Black voters.
The complaint highlights the fact that Georgia’s population growth over the last decade came entirely from communities of color, with Black Georgians now making up a third of the state’s population and people of color making up nearly half. Despite this growth, the plaintiffs argue that the Republican-controlled Legislature intentionally broke apart Black communities in some areas and packed Black voters in other areas to minimize their ability to elect candidates of their choice. The lawsuit argues that “Georgia’s growing Black population could easily support over a half-dozen new Black-majority State Senate and State House districts in areas where Black voters, despite voting cohesively, have previously been unable to elect candidates of their choice.” The plaintiffs argue that these new maps and the Legislature’s “manipulation of the redistricting process to dilute the political strength of Black voters robs fellow citizens of the ability to engage in politics with equal dignity and equal opportunity” and they must be struck down by the court.