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Louisiana lawmakers OK new congressional maps, adding Black-majority district

Louisiana’s state legislature passed a new congressional map Friday that will add a second Black-majority district while imperiling incumbent Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.).

The updated congressional map would retain the 2nd Congressional District as a majority-Black district and make the 6th Congressional District — represented by Graves — the state’s second.

Gov. Jeff Landry’s (R) signature is required before the map is enacted.

The new maps followed a protracted redistricting battle over the state’s congressional lines that began nearly two years ago. Then-Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) vetoed a set of maps passed by the state legislature in 2022, arguing that it violated the Voting Rights Act by only creating one majority-Black congressional district, when Black Louisianans make up a third of the state. He was later overridden by the state legislature.

A federal judge that year told the state legislature to establish a second majority-Black legislative seat under new lines, but the Supreme Court ultimately allowed the map to be used in the November midterms and paused the judge’s ruling.

After the Supreme Court ruled last year that Alabama’s congressional map likely violated the Voting Rights Act, the high court unfroze the case and sent it back to a federal appeals court. The appeals court said a new map had to be created by mid-January.

Dave Wasserman, senior editor and elections analyst for the nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report, wrote on X, formerly Twitter, Graves’ district “is now a virtually certain Dem gain.”

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