The Supreme Court granted an emergency Republican application to reinstate a disputed election map in Louisiana late in the day on June 28, a move that allows the map to remain in place for the next elections.
In the process, the high court also stayed two lower court rulings that found that the redrawn congressional district boundaries in the map probably violated the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting the power of black voters.
The court said in the brief unsigned order (pdf) that it would hold off on considering the merits of the case until after it hears and decides a similar dispute from Alabama that is expected to be argued in the court’s new term that begins in October.
The map was approved by Louisiana state lawmakers in March after they overrode Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’s veto.
According to a CNN summary, the map kept Republicans’ advantage in five of the Pelican State’s six congressional districts.
This left only the 2nd district, which runs all the way from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, as the state’s only majority black district and the sole district to favor Democrats. Reportedly, 33 percent of all Louisianans are black.
The ruling came in Ardoin v. Robinson, court file 21A814. Kyle Ardoin is Louisiana’s Republican secretary of state.
The emergency application to revive the electoral map was filed with Justice Samuel Alito, who referred the case to the full court.
The court’s liberal members – Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan – dissented from the new decision but did not provide reasons explaining why.