Supreme Court Won’t Get Involved in Redistricting Dispute

Matthew Vadum
By Matthew Vadum
October 19, 20232024 Election
Supreme Court Won’t Get Involved in Redistricting Dispute
U.S. Supreme Court is seen at sunrise in Washington on July 31, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

The Supreme Court refused to be drawn back into a dispute over a Louisiana congressional map that could force the creation of an electoral district that enhances the voting power of blacks in the state.

The court’s unsigned order in two related cases, Robinson v. Ardoin (court file 23A281) and Galmon v. Ardoin (court file 23A282), was issued late in the business day on Oct. 19.

The cases are still pending before a federal district court as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

Critics say Republicans are trying to drag out legal proceedings that could affect the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives in the congressional elections a little over a year from now. Republicans currently hold a slim majority in the House.

Louisiana’s congressional delegation is overwhelmingly Republican. Republicans hold five of the state’s six U.S. House seats. Both U.S. senators are Republicans.

On Oct. 14, the governor’s mansion flipped from Democrat to Republican. Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry defeated Democrat Shawn Wilson, winning a majority of votes and avoiding a runoff election. The incumbent governor, Democrat John Bel Edwards, was term-limited.

In June 2022, a U.S. district court judge ordered that Louisiana’s map, which currently features one black-majority district out of six in a state with a 33 percent black population, should be redrafted to create another black-majority district.

Months later, the district court scheduled a hearing about the new proposed map, but the 5th Circuit intervened and gave state officials more time to put together new maps.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and applicants Press Robinson and Edward Galmon Sr., registered voters in Louisiana, asked the Supreme Court to vacate the 5th Circuit’s order, but the justices refused to do so.

There were no noted dissents in the new order, but Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson added a statement (pdf).

Justice Jackson said she agreed with the majority’s decision to deny emergency relief but said that the court could return to the cases in the future.

The justice also noted that the Supreme Court previously expressed hope that the litigation would be resolved before the congressional elections scheduled for November 2024. She said Louisiana told the court that the state’s legislature would not consider alternative maps while the litigation remains pending.

Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, a Republican, was named as respondent in both applications. Secretary Ardoin was not on the ballot on Oct. 14 because he decided not to stand for election.

The Supreme Court previously issued an emergency order in the long-running disagreement on June 28 of last year. The justices granted an emergency Republican application to reinstate a disputed election map in Louisiana, a move that allowed the map to remain in place for the November 2022 congressional elections.

The Epoch Times has reached out for comment to the attorney for Mr. Ardoin, Jason Brett Torchinsky of Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky and Josefiak in Haymarket, Virginia.

The Epoch Times is also seeking comment from the attorney for Mr. Robinson, Stuart Charles Naifeh of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc. in New York, New York, and the attorney for Mr. Galmon, Abha Khanna of Elias Law Group in Seattle, Washington.

This is a developing story. This article will be updated.

From The Epoch Times

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