Georgia Republicans’ New Voting Maps Defy Court Order to Boost Black Representation

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They are a “blatant attempt to make me lose my seat,” says Rep. Lucy McBath.

In late October, a federal court docket dominated that Georgia’s electoral maps violated the Voting Rights Act by discriminating in opposition to Black voters. US District Court Judge Steve Jones ordered the state’s GOP-controlled legislature to draw new congressional and state legislative maps that may lead to new majority-Black districts.

But as an alternative of boosting Black illustration, Republicans launched a new congressional map on Friday that targets the district of Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath, one among two Black girls representing Georgia within the US House. The map defies Jones’ order, voting rights teams say, and preserves the GOP’s 9 to 5 benefit within the House by diluting Black illustration.

McBath, an outspoken advocate of gun management measures whose teenage son was fatally shot by a white man in 2012, called it a “blatant attempt to make me lose my seat.”

Under the GOP map, her numerous metro Atlanta district, the place communities of shade type a majority, could be reworked right into a closely white and pro-Republican district that stretches into the conservative exurbs and countryside north of Atlanta. The Black inhabitants would fall from 30 p.c to simply 9 p.c.

This is the second time in two years that Republicans have tried to dismantle McBath’s seat. In 2021, they redrew her suburban district, which was beforehand represented by Newt Gingrich however had trended blue, right into a a lot redder and extra rural seat. She ran for one more metro Atlanta district, defeating fellow Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux in a 2022 major and successful re-election to the House. Now Republicans try to oust her once more.

Republicans declare they’re not defying the court docket’s order as a result of they created a brand new majority-Black district in metro Atlanta that’s presently represented by Republican Rich McCormick. But the general variety of majority-minority congressional districts stays unchanged, and Jones particularly warned the legislature not to create minority illustration in a single district by diluting it in one other. “The state cannot remedy [Voting Rights Act] violations described herein by eliminating minority opportunity districts elsewhere in the plans,” Jones wrote.

The Republican state leaders seem to be following the nullification technique just lately employed by Alabama Republicans. In June, the Supreme Court, in a shock victory for voting rights, ordered the Alabama legislature to create a second majority-Black congressional district. They refused, and a federal court docket in the end stepped in and licensed a particular grasp to draw a brand new district that may enable Black voters to elect their most popular candidate.

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