Return to News Jun 06, 2022

Federal Court Blocks Unlawful Congressional Map in Louisiana

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an order released today, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana blocked the state’s congressional map for the 2022 election cycle, ordering the creation of a new redistricting plan that includes an additional congressional district in which Black voters have the opportunity to elect their preferred candidates.

The federal court order comes after Elias Law Group attorneys, representing a group of Louisiana voters, filed a lawsuit arguing that the Bayou State’s new congressional redistricting plan violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in partnership with the National Redistricting Foundation, the state’s congressional plan unconstitutionally “dilutes the electoral strength of the state’s Black community” by “packing Black voters into the Second Congressional District while cracking Louisiana’s other Black communities” into majority-white districts. The case, Galmon v. Ardoin, was consolidated with another case, Robinson v. Ardoin, on April 12.

In the order released today, Chief District Judge Shelly D. Dick agreed that the newly enacted map is likely in violation of the Voting Rights Act and ruled that injunctive relief is necessary to prevent irreparable harm to the plaintiffs’ voting rights. The Court also found that “the State has sufficient time to implement a new congressional map without risk of chaos,” pushing back against Republican attempts to move forward with an unlawful plan for this year’s midterm elections.

“Today’s ruling is welcome news for Black voters across Louisiana, after the State enacted a congressional redistricting plan that diluted their voting strength in violation of the Voting Rights Act,” said Elias Law Group attorney Abha Khanna. “The Court has made it clear that there is plenty of time for the State to remedy this injustice and enact a lawful map with two Black-opportunity congressional districts before the 2022 elections.”

Under the order, the Louisiana State Legislature has until June 20 to enact a new plan. The defendants have filed notices of appeal in the district court.

Elias Law Group attorneys Abha Khanna, Lali Madduri, Jonathan Hawley, Jacob Shelley, and Olivia Sedwick contributed to this case with support from Michelle DePass, Jeff Champagne, and Connor Fairchild.

Elias Law Group is a mission-driven firm committed to helping Democrats win, citizens vote, and progressives make change.