On Friday, a three-judge panel on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Louisiana Legislature must devise a new congressional map by Jan. 15, 2024, as reported by Newsmax. This decision follows a lower court’s ruling that the existing maps diminish the voting influence of black residents in the state, potentially reshaping the dynamics of the next election in a significant manner.
“The decision marks a pivotal development in Louisiana’s ongoing redistricting dispute, with potential implications for the balance of power in the state House after the 2024 elections. The appellate court nullified the 2022 ruling, deeming the preliminary injunction issued last year as no longer necessary for the urgency of establishing a map for the 2022 elections,” the report said.
“The district court’s 2022 preliminary injunction, issued with the urgency of establishing a map for the 2022 elections, is no longer necessary,” the court said.
The ruling sets the stage for a potential clash between the present Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards, who might call for a special legislative session to redraw the maps, and the incoming Governor, Jeff Landry. The Governor-elect, set to take office on Jan. 8, 2024, may opt for his own special session. Failure by the legislature to produce updated maps could result in a lower court trial.
In a move reflecting his concerns about the accuracy of representation, Edwards previously vetoed proposed congressional maps put forth by the Republican-controlled Legislature. He argued that the maps did not adequately reflect Louisiana’s demographic composition, where nearly 33% of residents are Black. Under the vetoed plan, the proposed districts would have resulted in only one of the state’s six districts having a majority-Black population.
Earlier attempts at redrawing were met with resistance as a federal district judge, responding to claims by a group of Black voters, issued a preliminary ruling blocking a map design alleged to violate the Voting Rights Act. The Legislature overrode Edwards’ veto, marking the first time lawmakers refused to accept a governor’s rejection of a passed bill in nearly three decades.
Republicans argued that the map was fair, asserting that the state’s Black population was too dispersed to warrant a second majority-Black district. In its ruling on Friday, the appeals court highlighted the need for the district court to assess the new plan’s alignment with the Voting Rights Act and whether another preliminary injunction is required.
Democrats are facing challenging prospects as they approach the 2024 elections.
Former President Donald Trump has surged ahead of President Joe Biden in four crucial swing states, approximately a year before the 2024 election. As Trump intensifies his election campaign and establishes a notable lead over the remaining GOP primary contenders, the political landscape is evolving.
A recent survey of registered voters, conducted by The New York Times and Siena College, reveals that Trump is currently leading Biden in Nevada with a margin of 52-41 percent. This is noteworthy as Biden narrowly secured victory in the state in the 2020 election. Additionally, Trump is ahead of Biden in Georgia with a margin of 49-43 percent.
“Trump leads Biden in Arizona, too, with 49% to the president’s 44%. In Michigan, Trump holds a 5-point lead as well: 48% to Biden’s 43%,” CNN reported, citing the survey.
In Pennsylvania, a state Trump won in 2016 but lost to Biden in 2020 by a 4-point margin, the former president is currently leading with a 48-44 percent advantage. However, in Wisconsin, Trump is behind Biden with a margin of 47-45 percent.
The outlet noted further:
The latest battleground state polling underscores the considerable challenges facing Biden’s reelection bid, including low job approval ratings and questions about his age and ability to steer the country. The poll results are especially striking for Biden, given Trump’s mounting legal troubles. The former president faces 91 criminal charges across four indictments. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Biden campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz downplayed the polling in a statement Sunday, telling CNN: “Predictions more than a year out tend to look a little different a year later.”
“Coming off those historic 2022 midterms, President Biden’s campaign is hard at work reaching and mobilizing our diverse, winning coalition of voters one year out on the choice between our winning, popular agenda and MAGA Republicans’ unpopular extremism. We’ll win in 2024 by putting our heads down and doing the work, not by fretting about a poll,” Munoz added.