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Civil Rights groups hoping to advance lawsuit, hopes for second Black congressional district in Louisiana

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BATON ROUGE- Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled in a case in Alabama requiring the state to create another congressional district with a larger black population.

That ruling could force Louisiana to do the same thing.

"The maps are illegal, and therefore, they have to be redrawn," Nora Ahmed, the legal director of the Louisiana ACLU, told WBRZ.

Because of the ruling in Alabama, Ahmed believes Louisiana now should be required by law to redraw the map with better representation.

"We are actively in a situation where Black voters are not entitled to have their voices sufficiently heard at the polls," Ahmed said.

The process of drawing a second majority minority district has been a long process.

Last summer, Louisiana lawmakers passionately debated the states congressional map in a special session, after a Federal Judge struck down the map with only one majority black district.

Despite the judge instructing them to create a new map, both sides refused to budge. 

That is part of the reason why Michael McClanahan, the Conference President of the Louisiana NAACP, says he would be in favor of skipping the legislative process to get the second Black district.

"I would like the court to draw the line themselves, because we are wasting time," McClanahan said.

He fears the legislature will never draw what he considers to be a fair map.

"They will go to hell saying they have done the right thing. So they can keep going to hell. The court has already decided that we are right," McClanahan said.

Governor John Bel Edwards has said in the past he believes there should be a second majority Black district in Louisiana.

WBRZ did reach out to State Senator Sharon Hewitt, who was against redrawing the map last summer, for an interview. She did not get back to us.

Right now, it is up to the courts to decide what will happen next.


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