Georgia won’t try to stall redistricting session

In a court filing Wednesday, attorneys for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the state will not seek a "stay of the rulings" to prevent state lawmakers from redrawing Georgia's political lines beginning later this month. A federal judge found the General Assembly diluted the voting power of Black residents during redistricting in 2021 and ordered lawmakers to draw new maps in a special legislative sessoin that will begin Nov. 29. The state plans to appeal the order. (Arvin Temkar/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

In a court filing Wednesday, attorneys for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the state will not seek a "stay of the rulings" to prevent state lawmakers from redrawing Georgia's political lines beginning later this month. A federal judge found the General Assembly diluted the voting power of Black residents during redistricting in 2021 and ordered lawmakers to draw new maps in a special legislative sessoin that will begin Nov. 29. The state plans to appeal the order. (Arvin Temkar/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Georgia will not try to block lawmakers from returning to the Capitol later this month to redraw political lines after a judge ruled the maps drawn in 2021 violated the law.

In a court filing on Wednesday, attorneys for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said while the state would not seek a “stay of the rulings” to stop any immediate action, Georgia would appeal the order. A “stay” in the case could have kept lawmakers from being required to draw the new lines while the ruling went through the appeals process.

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones last week ordered state legislators to create a fifth majority-Black congressional district, located in west metro Atlanta, to ensure adequate representation that reflects population growth during the past decade. Currently, there are four predominantly Black districts in Georgia.

Jones said the maps, as drawn in 2021 by a Republican-led General Assembly, violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits racial discrimination in elections. He gave the Legislature until Dec. 8 to produce the new political maps.

Gov. Brian Kemp scheduled a special session that begins Nov. 29 to allow lawmakers to redraw the state’s congressional and legislative lines.