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Supreme Court, for Now, Allows Louisiana Voting Map to Move Forward

U.S.Supreme Court, for Now, Allows Louisiana Voting Map to Move Forward

The Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily reinstated a congressional map in Louisiana that includes a second majority-Black district, increasing the likelihood that Democrats could gain a House seat from the state in the November election.

The move could be particularly significant in an election cycle in which the balance of power in the House is likely to be determined by a handful of races.

The order was unsigned, as is the Supreme Court’s custom in ruling on emergency applications. It came in response to a challenge to a lower-court decision that had blocked the map drawn by Louisiana’s Republican-controlled Legislature, deeming it a racial gerrymander.

The justices said that their decision would remain in effect pending an appeal or a ruling by the Supreme Court. The court’s three liberals said that they would have left the block in place. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan did not explain their reasoning, but Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, in a dissent, wrote that she believed the court had intervened too soon.

Although a majority of the justices appeared swayed by concerns about courts making changes to elections procedures close to an election, Justice Jackson wrote, she did not believe that was an issue in the case.

“There is little risk of voter confusion from a new map being imposed this far out from the November election,” she added. “In fact, we have often denied stays of redistricting orders issued as close or closer to an election.”

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