Georgia Republican legislators passed a new congressional map Thursday that protects their party’s dominance in the U.S. House and might violate a federal judge’s order requiring an additional majority-Black district.
The redistricting plan, approved by the Georgia House on a party-line vote, is designed to preserve Republicans’ 9-5 advantage in the state delegation to the U.S. House. The revised districts now go to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature.
The new map sets up a high-stakes court battle over which districts will be used in next year’s elections after a federal judge ruled that Georgia’s current political boundaries illegally weakened Black voting power in violation of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Under the Republican map, voters are moved into different districts in a way that prevents Black voters — and the Democratic candidates they overwhelmingly support — from winning additional representation in elections….
Republican defenders of their redistricting said they complied with U.S. District Judge Steve Jones’ order because they added a fourth majority-Black district and retained another district in southwest Georgia where 49% of voters are Black.
They did so by reshaping a multiracial Atlanta-area district held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, where most voters are people of color but no single race makes up a majority, even though the judge said they couldn’t correct violations “by eliminating minority opportunity districts elsewhere.” Minority opportunity districts are generally defined as areas where racial minority groups are able to elect their preferred candidates by attracting some support from white voters….