Credit: GPB / File
Supreme Court rulings could lead to redrawn congressional maps for Georgia
LISTEN: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that Louisiana's new congressional map reduces Black voting strength in violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. GPB's Donna Lowry explains.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that Louisiana's new congressional map reduces Black voting strength in violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act.
The decision comes on the heels of the high court's similar ruling in Alabama a few weeks ago in Allen v. Milligan. It directly affects similar lawsuits opposing Georgia's congressional and legislative maps.
Several groups, including the Georgia NAACP, have filed lawsuits alleging state lawmakers created conservative-leaning seats, including forcing Democratic U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath out of the 6th District. McBath went on to run in the 7th District against fellow Democratic Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux.
Court observers believe the justices have sent Georgia a clear message through the Louisiana and Alabama decisions.
"The Supreme Court doesn't take many cases in a year, and my guess is they would think we've pretty much handled this, so trial courts, you can work this out," said University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock.
A trial court order to redraw maps in Georgia would come from Northern District Judge Steve Jones.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp would then have to decide whether to call a special session of the General Assembly for redistricting.
Last year, Jones acknowledged that some parts of Georgia's 2021 redistricting maps likely violated federal law. Yet, he allowed the state to use them in 2022.
"Changes to the redistricting map at this point in the 2022 election schedule are likely to substantially disrupt the election process," Jones wrote in a 238-page order.
An Alabama federal court has set a July 21 deadline for the Alabama Legislature to draw new congressional maps. The Alabama governor's office could call a special session next month.