Lawsuit Accuses Louisiana of Racial Gerrymandering

Friday, November 29, 2013
Louisiana Congressional District 2

The state of Louisiana is being sued over a newly drawn congressional district that plaintiffs say was racially gerrymandered.

 

Residents of Congressional District 2 claim its configuration, which runs from New Orleans to Baton Rouge—a distance of about 80 miles, violates the U.S. constitution.

 

The lawsuit says the state packed African-Americans into District 2, “thereby diminishing their influence in surrounding districts.”

 

The litigation cites the June 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Shelby County v. Holder) that threw out portions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The plaintiffs claim that those who drew the district’s boundaries relied on a portion of the statute voided by the court.

 

“Louisiana can no longer seek refuge in Section 5 as an excuse to racially gerrymander Congressional District 2. Drawn with race as its predominant purpose, this district cannot pass constitutional muster,” the lawsuit states.

 

Iulia Filip of Courthouse News Service described the district’s shape as looking “something like a mutant salamander.”

 

“Congressional District 2’s tortured shape further contorts the districts around it,” the complaint states. “Congressional District 6 surrounds Congressional District 2 on three sides, appearing to shoot Congressional District 2 out of its cragged jaws like a crooked tongue.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Racial Gerrymandering Lawsuit in Louisiana (by Iulia Filip, Courthouse News Service)

Could Gerrymandering that Helped GOP in 2012 Backfire in 2014? (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Redrawing the Map on Redistricting 2012 (Azavea) (pdf)

Comments

Kyle Sager 3 years ago
Don't Louisiana's power whites get that this kind of nonsense just makes their whole state look like some disgusting backwater Apartheid hold-out? This is not the kind of behaviour that gives large businesses confidence to move jobs into that state. You would have thought in the 150 years since the Civil War Louisiana's white Republicans would have grown up. They're stuck in the 1800's. Talk about corruption.
WC 3 years ago
outrageous. anyone looking at the shape of that district can tell its ridiculous. I found this White House petition looking for national solutions to gerrymandering: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/stop-gerrymandering-set-national-guidelines-fair-nonpartisan-redistricting-congressional-districts/fKl70MNr

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