Legal Action To Thwart Gerrymandered Maps In Georgia Announced

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A new lawsuit has been filed in Georgia in hopes of upending GOP gerrymandering in the state that negatively impacts Black voters in particular. As explained by the voting rights organization Democracy Docket, the case “argues that the new [Congressional] map violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) because it dilutes the voting strength of Georgians of color, particularly Black Georgians, and denies these voters an equal chance to participate in the political process.” If certain communities, like Black voters in Georgia, are kept out of the majority in as many districts as possible and/ or isolated to the majority in as few districts as possible, then they’d find themselves less able to have the voice that they’re supposed to possess in selecting representatives.

The interests behind this new case in Georgia also insist that officials “should have created an additional majority-Black district in the Atlanta metropolitan area under the VRA because Black Georgians in that area vote cohesively as a bloc and are numerous and compact enough to form an additional majority-Black district,” as Democracy Docket explains things. As such, the plaintiffs want the court to direct the creation of a new map that features a fairer set-up, including an additional Black-majority district, presumably in the Atlanta area.

Georgia isn’t the first state where litigation to protect the voting rights of marginalized communities in connection to the redistricting process has been filed. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and NAACP recently participated in bringing a South Carolina case that challenged the outcome of the redistricting process in that state and also spotlighted the looming impact on Black voters. Leah Aden, who serves as deputy director of litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, observed in reference to that case that, with the challenged district lines in place, “Black voters will have fewer opportunities to… have representatives who will be responsive to their needs for housing, economic, educational, and public safety opportunities.”

Some of the examples of GOP redistricting that negatively impacts marginalized communities have been particularly egregious. In Alabama, which has seven U.S. House districts, just one went to a Black majority, even though Black residents comprise over one-fourth of the state’s population. In Texas, non-white residents were responsible for the overwhelming majority of the last decade’s population growth that gave the state two new U.S. House districts… and state officials gave both to white majorities. Issues go on from there.