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Supreme Court upholds Louisiana redistricting plan

The U.S. Supreme Court has for all practical purposes upheld a new congressional redistricting plan in Louisiana that provides for a second majority Black district. But the court's decision appears to be limited to the current 2024 election cycle.

At the same time that the court upheld the creation of a second majority-Black congressional district in Louisiana, the justices said that a new challenge to the second district could be filed, a challenge that the court would hear next term, too late for the 2024 election, but with the potential to hobble what remains of the Voting Rights Act.

The 6-to-3 vote in the case was a difficult to understand, with the court's six conservative justices voting to allow the Louisiana plan for two majority-Black districts to go into effect, while the court's three liberals would not have intervened at this point. Election Expert Rick Hasen said that the liberals likely disagreed because Wednesday's case appears to give the court an additional tool to OK or veto congressional redistricting plans months before an election.

The Louisiana congressional redistricting has had a tortured history since the 2020 Census. In 2022, a federal district court ruled that the new map drawn by the state legislature violated the Voting Rights Act by diluting the Black vote. In a state that has six congressional seats, and a 31.4% Black population, only one district was majority Black. The state subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court, but the justices put the case on hold in 2022 while it considered a similar redistricting case from Alabama, and in the interim, the state used a plan that had been held to violate the the Voting Rights Act.

When the justices decided the Alabama case last June, however,

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