Democrats could win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and several seats in the Georgia state legislature if a judge rules that Republicans have plotted a map that illegally undermines the power of black voters.
The trial, which begins Tuesday, is part of a series of ongoing lawsuits after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld its interpretation of the Voting Rights Act and dismissed Alabama’s challenge to the law earlier this year.
The Voting Rights Act states that precinct boundaries must not have a discriminatory effect on minority voters, and that minority voters must be given the opportunity to elect candidates of their own choosing. there is
Judge Refuses to Dismiss Georgia Lawsuit Alleging District Black Voter Discrimination
Lawsuits challenging district boundaries drawn after the 2020 Census could sway 2024 congressional elections in states outside Alabama and Georgia, including Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas there’s a possibility that. Taken as a whole, these incidents could affect the scant Republicans hold in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In Georgia, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones is trying a case that is expected to last two weeks without a jury. If he decides against the state, he will likely order the Republican-controlled Georgia legislature to redraw districts to comply with the law.
The trial ties three different cases together, meaning Mr. Jones may or may not rule against the challenger in some cases.
Jones already ruled in March 2022 that some of Georgia’s zoning plans may violate federal law. He decided the near-election changes were too disruptive and allowed new legislative and state legislative maps to be used in the 2022 election.
Political scientist Charles Block, who studies zoning at the University of Georgia, said he expects Jones to side with plaintiffs.
“He held that the plaintiff had established elements of a Section 2 violation at that time,” Block said of the earlier ruling.
The plaintiffs challenging the districts have room for one more black-majority congressional seat on the west side of the Atlanta subway, and three more black-majority state Senate districts. He claims there is room for five more black-majority congressional districts across the country. state. They note that between 2010 and 2020, Georgia will add 500,000 black residents, nearly half of the total population growth.
“Despite these significant demographic changes, the legislative plan enacted has failed to reflect the growing black population of Georgia,” plaintiffs challenged Georgia’s legislative map, according to a lawsuit filed in court. mentioned in the overview.
But the state argues that the plaintiffs have not proven that voters act in this way because of their race, and that partisanship is a stronger motive.
Alabama legislators rush to create new map of Congress to create second-majority black district
For example, defense attorneys point to the role of partisanship in Democratic Rep. Lucy McButh’s first election in 2018. McButh, who is black, was elected for the first time in a constituency with a small black population. Lawmakers then rerouted the district to a much more Republican-leaning district, prompting Mr. McButh to run for re-election in another district.
The state also argues that plaintiffs’ reliance on race to draw districts is unlawful.
“What plaintiffs want is the defense that they need to consider race above all else,” Block said.
But Kareem Clayton, senior director of voting and representation at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, said lawmakers don’t consider race when drawing lines, only partisanship, Georgia’s claim. said that should lead to the question of whether the line considered whether it was discriminatory.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“Right now, the state seems to be saying, ‘We don’t talk about race at all,’ but is there a story to tell then?” Clayton said. “What does it mean that a significant portion of your state has no access to electricity?”
Republicans had an 8-6 majority in the Georgia House of Representatives in 2020, but the Republican-majority state legislators drew a line to eliminate one of the Democratic seats, giving them a 9-5 majority. pushed up to If the plaintiffs win, the Republican Party could return to 8-6 power. But lawmakers could try to convert McButh’s current seat to a black majority seat.
Republicans currently hold a 102-78 majority in the state House and a 33-23 majority in the state Senate. A win for plaintiffs is unlikely to reverse the lead in both chambers, but the addition of black-majority districts to the Senate and House could elect Democrats to close the gap with Republicans. .