Federal Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiffs to Block Enacted Congressional Map
For Immediate Release: June 6, 2022
Baton Rouge, LA– On Monday, June 6, 2022, a decision was made in favor of Black voters to block Louisiana’s enacted congressional map in Robinson v. Ardoin, the case challenging Louisiana’s congressional map in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As a result of the ruling made by Chief Judge Shelly D. Dick of the Middle District of Louisiana, a new map with two majority-minority districts will need to be drawn for the upcoming elections.
The plaintiffs, Black Louisiana voters, and Louisiana nonprofit organizations that promote civic engagement and social equity, including Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Louisiana State Conference, Press Robinson, Edgar Cage, Dorothy Nairne, Edwin Rene Soule, Alice Washinton, Clee Ernest Lowe, Davante Lewis, and Ambrose Sims filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on April 15, 2022 to block Louisiana’s newly enacted congressional map from being used in upcoming elections while litigation continues. The Preliminary Injunction Hearing began on Monday, May 9, 2022, and on Monday, May 13, 2022, the hearing came to a close. A five-day process at the Russel B. Long Federal Building and the United States Courthouse used the evidence presented to make the decision in the plaintiff’s favor.
“This is a huge victory for the thousands of Louisianians who participated in the redistricting process and initially did not have their voices heard in the overturn of the Governor’s veto,” said Ashley Shelton, CEO for Power Coalition. “The people of Louisiana asked for a fair and equitable process, one that allowed communities of color to elect candidates of their choice. This decision affirms the fact the people deserve to have their voices heard. Their historic participation in the redistricting process will forever be remembered today.”
The coalition is represented by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. (LDF), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Louisiana, Paul, Weis, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and Louisiana Lawyers John Adcock and Tracie Washington. There is still more on the litigation front as the parties initiating the lawsuit are taking action to end Louisiana’s history of utilizing political power for white citizens and in turn disenfranchising and discriminating against Black Louisiananians who now make up 31.2% of the state’s voting age population. In violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), the adopted 2022 congressional map dilutes the impact of the Black vote with methods of “packing” and “cracking” to keep large numbers of Black voters from equally participating in the democratic process.
Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ) is dedicated to supporting and coordinating civic and voter engagement across Louisiana. We are guided by values of justice and racial equity and work with our partners to build an integrated civic engagement strategy that amplifies the voices of those who have historically been ignored, and organize them into a unified movement. PCEJ focuses on building power in traditionally marginalized communities, particularly Black and Brown communities, by equipping people with the knowledge and information they need to find their voice and learn where and when to use it.