Louisiana Lawmakers Pass Congressional Map That Empowers More Black Voters

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Louisiana lawmakers on Friday approved a new congressional map that would create a second district with a majority of Black voters, after a federal court found that the existing map appeared to illegally undercut the power of Black voters in the state.

Given that Black voters often back Democratic candidates in the state, the new map also increases the possibility of Democrats’ taking control of a second congressional seat in Louisiana.

“It’s a powerful moment for Black voters in this state and it’s a powerful moment for history,” said Ashley K. Shelton, president of the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice and one of the plaintiffs who had challenged the map.

Lawmakers in Baton Rouge also agreed to tighten the state’s raucous “jungle primary” system for federal elections and state Supreme Court races beginning in 2026, though they stopped far short of the statewide overhaul sought by Gov. Jeff Landry, the newly inaugurated Republican governor.

The whirlwind, five-day special session offered a first glimpse of how Mr. Landry, just two weeks into his term, will wield power in tandem with the Legislature’s hard-line Republican supermajority, after eight years of divided government in Louisiana. With the session beginning on Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Mr. Landry took care to emphasize how much easier the legislators’ work should be by comparison.

“His was a persecution for speaking his truth, while ours is just a comfortable dialogue,” Mr. Landry told the lawmakers. “His was a mighty shove, while yours is simply a mere push of the button.”

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Louisiana Lawmakers Pass Congressional Map That Empowers More Black Voters

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