Georgia May Gain More Dems Due To Map Drawing Issue

Democrats could gain the upper hand in Georgia if a court rules that Republicans drew boundary maps to disempower black citizens. The trial will take place on the back of a US Supreme Court ruling that interpreted the Voting Rights Act as meaning that district maps cannot result in discrimination against minority voters.

US District Judge Steve Jones, who will oversee the case, ruled last year that parts of Georgia’s redistricting may be in breach of the Act, and if he rules similarly in the upcoming case, the Peach State will need to go back to the drawing board.

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed the lawsuit, along with the Common Cause organization, the League of Women Voters of Georgia, and a group of individuals. The suit alleged that Republican maps moved black voters out of the 6th District and replaced them with whites, packed the 13th District with black voters, and moved blacks from Cobb County into an overwhelmingly white rural area in the 14th District.

Southern Poverty Law Center lawyer Jack Genberg said, “These unlawful districts would diminish communities’ ability to advocate for fair treatment and allocation of funds from their government.” Republicans insist they adhered to the requirements of the Voting Rights Act when drawing up the maps.

The Supreme Court delivered its verdict on the Voting Rights Act in June in response to a filing by the state of Alabama. Republicans in the Yellowhammer State redrew the electoral maps in 2021 and the result was just one black-majority district – despite the fact that the state is 27% black. A lower court ruled they were discriminatory when civil rights groups challenged the maps, but Republicans appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled against them.

Justice Clarence Thomas, only the second black judge in the court, dissented from the ruling and said the Voting Rights Act should not apply to redistricting. Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch, supported that view.