Judge Appointed by Obama Sides with Republicans in Ruling

(UnitedHeadlines.com) – On Dec. 28, a federal judge ruled that Georgia Republicans’ redrawn congressional maps comply with the court’s earlier October order.

In October, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ruled that the congressional maps from 2021 needed to be redrawn as they discriminated against black voters and violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The new maps were required to include one new majority-black congressional district, five additional majority-black districts in the state House and two new majority-black state Senate districts.

While the state appealed the decision, it also held a special session to redraw the congressional maps. The new maps approved by the Georgia state legislature in December added a majority-black district west of Atlanta.

Democrats and voting rights groups argued this new map violated Jones’ ruling because it dismantled another district represented by a black woman and comprised mainly minority voters. However, Republicans argued the new maps complied with the order as the district changed was not a majority-black district.

An appointee of former President Barack Obama, Jones ruled the new maps “fully complied” with the October order to create “black-majority districts” in parts of the state “where vote dilution was found.”

In a statement, the Georgia House of Representatives Speaker Jon Burns called the ruling “a validation of what we put forward.” While the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia said it would “hold the General Assembly accountable” until voters in the state “get the maps they deserve.” It is unclear if there would be an appeal of the decision.

The decision follows a 5-4 ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in June regarding congressional maps from Alabama that were found to be discriminatory against black voters and in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the court’s three liberal justices, required the Alabama state legislature to redraw the congressional maps to include an additional black-majority district.

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