The state's GOP-drawn plan had already been invalidated by a federal judge for "cramming" Black voters into a single district.
As a result of the Supreme Court's ruling on Tuesday, Louisiana will run its 2022 elections using the district boundaries that a federal judge had invalidated for violating the Voting Rights Act.
The top court's ruling returns the map to the one that Republican legislators drew earlier this year, at least for the 2022 election.
Barack Obama appointee District Court Judge Shelly Dick determined earlier this month that the map most likely broke the VRA. Even though over one-third of the state's population is Black, one of the state's six districts is majority Black under the map boundaries. Rep. Troy Carter, a Democrat, has the sole majority-Black seat in Louisiana's congressional delegation, where Republicans hold a 5-1 lead. A second heavily Black district was to be added to the map, per Dick's directive to the Louisiana legislature.
With less than four months until the November election, the Supreme Court's stay of that order most certainly ends the final redistricting dispute before the midterms, securing congressional boundaries for all 50 states.
Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, who make up the liberal majority on the Supreme Court, stated that they disagreed with the stay.
The Merrill v. Milligan case, which contends that Alabama's maps are discriminatory since they lessen the influence of Black representation there as well, will be heard by the Supreme Court before a decision can be made regarding the lower court's order. Merrill v. Milligan is a case from Alabama.
The Supreme Court also overturned a lower court ruling that had invalidated Alabama's maps earlier this year. In October, the court will hear Merrill's arguments.
Legal experts and civil rights organizations are concerned that the Supreme Court will use the Alabama case to severely weaken the Voting Rights Act later this year. Under Chief Justice John Roberts, the high court has drastically limited the authority and application of the historic law over the past ten years.
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