AAMA Statement on the Louisiana Congressional Maps Case
Published on June 27, 2023
(Washington, D.C.) – The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) welcomes the decision by the Supreme Court to lift the hold in the Louisiana redistricting case. On the heels of the 5-4 Allen v. Milligan ruling, the Court recognizes the inherent violations of the Voting Rights Act by the Republican-led legislature of Louisiana in their drawing of congressional maps which stripped Black voters – who make up a third of the state – of full representation in Congress. This decision justly opens the door to the establishment of a second majority-Black congressional district in Louisiana.
“The Supreme Court made the right decision and saw the prior Louisiana maps for what they were – an effort to disenfranchise the Black vote,” said Mount Vernon, NY Mayor and AAMA President Shawyn Patterson-Howard. “I sincerely hope this decision serves as a clear warning to those who believe their only path to victory is undermining the constitutional rights of Black and brown voters in our nation.”
“Louisiana’s congressional map is a blatant example of voter disenfranchisement, and we are grateful the Supreme Court recognized it as such and ordered the state to produce a map that accurately reflects our diverse population,” said New Orleans Mayor and AAMA Board Trustee LaToya Cantrell. “The 2020 Census further showed what we already knew, Black voters make up a third of the population in Louisiana, and minorities make up a total of 45% of our state’s population. Everyone, regardless of race, deserves elected officials that will represent their needs. This cannot be done when district maps do not accurately reflect the population. Representation matters, and it’s time we showed our people that their votes matter, too.”
“I wholeheartedly support the recent Supreme Court ruling, calling for the redraw of Louisiana’s congressional map to include a second majority-Black district. Rejecting the State’s appeal is a significant step forward for Louisiana in our pursuit of fair representation and equal voting rights,” said Baton Rouge Mayor and AAMA Secretary Sharon Weston-Broome. “This decision underscores the importance of ensuring that every voice is heard and every vote carries equal weight. Moving forward, we have an opportunity to rectify the existing disparities and create a more inclusive and representative electoral system. It is our duty to work collaboratively towards a fair and just outcome that respects the rights and voices of all residents of Louisiana and I am committed to supporting efforts that foster a future where every voter’s voice truly matters.”
After previously freezing efforts in Robinson v. Ardoin to redraw Louisiana congressional maps, the Supreme Court of the United States decided to lift the hold placed on a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision. In a prior 5-4 ruling in a related Alabama case, the Court found that the maps drawn by state Republicans violated Section 2 of the Voting Right Act’s prohibitions against racial discrimination in voting. The Louisiana Secretary of State’s office was sued for a congressional map – passed by the Republican legislature over Governor John Bel Edwards’ veto – that made only one of its six districts majority-Black, despite the state’s population being 33% Black in the 2020 census.