The U.S. Supreme Court building is seen in Washington, U.S., June 27, 2022.
The U.S. Supreme Court building is seen in Washington, U.S., June 27, 2022. Reuters / ELIZABETH FRANTZ

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated a Republican-drawn map of Louisiana's six U.S. House of Representatives districts that had been blocked by a judge who found that it likely discriminates against Black voters.

The justices granted a request by Louisiana's Republican secretary of state to put on hold U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick's injunction requiring a new map that has a second district where Black voters represent the majority of voters rather than just one in the version adopted by the Republican-led state legislature.

The nine-member court's three liberal justices dissented from the decision.

Democrats control the U.S. House by a slim margin, making every seat vital in the Republican attempt to win back a majority in November's midterm elections.

Calling evidence presented by Black voters who challenged the map "stronger," the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on June 12 had refused to reinstate the Republican-drawn districts.

The Supreme Court also decided to take up the Louisiana dispute and hold it for their eventual ruling in a similar case from Alabama that the justices have already agreed to hear that could further weaken the Voting Rights Act. That landmark 1965 federal law for decades has been used to counter racially biased actions in voting and drawing electoral districts.

Arguments in the Alabama are scheduled for Oct. 4. The eventual ruling, due by the end of June 2023, could make it harder for courts to consider race when determining whether an electoral district map violates the Voting Rights Act's Section 2, which bars voting practices that result in racial discrimination.

The Louisiana legislature passed the congressional map in February. Democratic Governor Jon Bel Edwards vetoed it https://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/3585 - criticizing it for failing to include a second Black-majority district considering that Black voters comprise almost a third of the state's population - but the legislature overrode the veto.

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