Posted: Aug 1, 2011 7:11 PM
Source: Associated Press
BATON ROUGE - The U.S. Department of Justice has cleared Louisiana's new map for its congressional districts, which lawmakers drew in a special legislative session earlier this year.
The plan shrinks the number of Louisiana congressional districts from seven to six, starting with the 2012 elections, because of the state's anemic population growth in the latest federal census.
The redesign needed approval from the Justice Department to ensure it complied with the Voting Rights Act, which guards against discrimination. The reworked map will govern elections for at least 10 years.
The plan preserves one majority black district. Black lawmakers voted in a near bloc against the plan, calling it discriminatory and saying it doesn't give minority voters enough influence.
The Justice Department on Monday also cleared the plan for the Public Service Commission.