Democrats could gain a seat in the U.S. House and multiple seats in Georgia’s Legislature if a judge rules Republicans drew maps illegally weakening Black voters’ power.
The trial beginning Tuesday is part of a wave of litigation progressing after the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year stood behind its interpretation of the Voting Rights Act, rejecting Alabama’s challenge to the law.
The Voting Rights Act says voting district lines can’t result in discriminatory effects against minority voters, who must be allowed a chance to elect candidates of their choosing….
In Georgia, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones is hearing what is expected to be a two-week case without a jury. If he rules against the state, he is likely to order Georgia’s Republican-controlled General Assembly to redraw districts to comply with the law.
The trial yokes together three different cases, meaning Jones could rule for the challengers in some instances and not others.
Jones already ruled in March 2022 that some parts of Georgia’s redistricting plans probably violate federal law. He allowed the new congressional and state legislative maps to be used for 2022’s elections, finding changes close to elections would have been too disruptive.