Speaker Johnson urged Louisiana's GOP-controlled legislature to reject proposed redrawn district map but was ignored

 January 20, 2024

The wishes of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) were just defied by his fellow Louisiana Republicans in that state's legislature as part of an ongoing dispute over congressional district maps.

The GOP-controlled Louisiana legislature, in a bid to avoid further court intervention, just approved a redrawn district map that sacrifices a Republican member of the state's federal delegation in favor of a new majority-black district that will almost certainly elect a Democrat to send to Congress, Politico reported.

It was just a few days earlier that Speaker Johnson had unsuccessfully urged his state's legislature to reject the proposed redistricting map and to continue fighting in court to defend the previously approved redistricting map that was challenged in a federal lawsuit.

Newly redrawn map creates second black-majority congressional district

Politico reported that in 2022, Louisiana's newly approved congressional district map was challenged in federal court as likely violating the Voting Rights Act by purportedly diluting the voting power of black Louisiana voters, given that only one of the state's six districts was majority-black despite blacks making up roughly one-third of the state's population.

The federal court agreed and ordered the Louisiana legislature to redraw the map to include a second black-majority district, which the Republican-controlled legislature did as favorably as possible for themselves to avoid letting court-appointed experts redraw the map less favorably.

As a result, the newly redrawn map just accepted by the legislature protects the districts represented by Speaker Johnson, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, and Rep. Julia Letlow, but sacrifices the 6th District represented by Rep. Garret Graves.

The newly redrawn map now features an oddly shaped and meandering 6th District that stretches from East Baton Rogue in the southeast nearly to the state's northwest corner, encompassing most of the predominately black communities in the central region of the state along the way, and which will almost certainly elect a Democrat to represent them in November's elections.

Johnson's pleas fell on deaf ears

Earlier this week, after the proposed new map was first publicly revealed but before the Louisiana legislature had voted on it, Speaker Johnson took to social media and urged his fellow Republicans in his home state to reject the proposal.

"We’ve just seen, and are very concerned with, the proposed Congressional map presented in the Louisiana Legislature," Johnson wrote. "It remains my position that the existing map is constitutional and that the legal challenge to it should be tried on merits so the State has adequate opportunity to defend its merits."

"Should the state not prevail at trial, there are multiple other map options that are legally compliant and do not require the unnecessary surrender of a Republican seat in Congress," he added.

Unfortunately for Johnson, his pleas were ignored by his fellow GOPers in the state legislature who calculated that the sacrifice of Graves' seat was worth it to avoid the possibility that court-drawn maps would negatively impact the districts represented by Johnson, Scalise, and Letlow.

Graves warns new map is likely unconstitutional

As for Rep. Graves, he also preemptively registered his disapproval of the new map that essentially ousts him from Congress following the conclusion of the current term.

Like Speaker Johnson, he encouraged a continuation of the ongoing court fight over the prior map and warned that this new map, given the undeniable and overt gerrymandering to create a second black-majority district, would not withstand judicial scrutiny and would ultimately be rejected as unconstitutional.

Latest News

© 2024 - Patriot News Alerts