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Democratic court victories raise hopes for House majority

by

Daily Caller News Foundation

Court victories for Democrats and left-wing groups are redistricting House seats in several states ahead of the 2024 elections and suggest that House Republicans may not retain their majority.

Several groups challenged state congressional maps after the 2022 midterm elections for allegedly being gerrymandered by partisan affiliation in state courts, or along racial lines in federal courts. These actions resulted in court rulings that benefit Democrats in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Ohio, and could cost House Republicans their majority, according to ongoing litigation.

“New black-majority seats [are] basically Democratic seats,” Shawn Donahue, a professor at the University of Buffalo, previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

A three-judge panel at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama struck down a re-drawn congressional map by the state legislature on Sept. 5. for allegedly violating the Voting Rights Act’s provision banning racial gerrymandering, CNBC reported. The Supreme Court ruled in Allen v. Milligan on June 8 that the state’s congressional delimitation was racially gerrymandered to deprive black voters of electing their choice of candidate.

The Sept. 5 order appoints a special master to draw a new map for the state. Should that map be approved, it is likely that Alabama will gain one Democratic-leaning congressional district.

“It’s an incredible win. It’s an incredibly important moment,” Marina Jenkins, the head of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee said, according to Politico.

A state judge in Florida ruled that the redistricting plan supported by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis violated the state constitution for alleged racial gerrymandering.

The plaintiffs “have shown that the enacted plan results in the diminishment of Black voters’ ability to elect their candidate of choice in violation of the Florida Constitution,” Florida Circuit Judge J. Lee Marsh wrote, according to NPR. The plan would have divided the district represented by Democratic Rep. Al Lawson into several smaller parcels to be integrated with surrounding Republican-held seats.

“I think it’s good that the justices are now beginning to understand the 14th Amendment of the Constitution,” Lawson told Politico.

Federal litigation is ongoing in Georgia and Louisiana to determine whether their congressional seat maps need to be redrawn. While Georgia’s case is currently at trial, Louisiana’s case is being briefed at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, with instructions from the Supreme Court to decide the case on the basis of its decision in Milligan.

The Ohio Supreme Court recently dismissed a challenge to a lower court order in a case argued by Elias Law Group — a top left-wing elections law firm — that left in place congressional maps from 2022.

House Republicans currently hold a slim majority of four seats, and can only afford to lose three if they are to keep the majority.

The National Republican Congressional Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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