The cases were filed by a variety of civil rights, religious and political groups soon after Gov. Brian Kemp signed new redistricting plans into law.
The maps, approved on party-line votes by the Republican majority in the General Assembly, were shaped in a way that positions the GOP to potentially gain a seat in Congress after this year’s elections. Republicans currently hold an 8-6 advantage among Georgia’s congressional delegation.
Attorneys for the state had argued that the cases should be dismissed because they were assigned to Jones instead of a three-judge panel of judges.
But Jones ruled that federal law doesn’t always mandate three judges in redistricting cases.
“The plain language only requires a three-judge court to hear cases challenging the constitutionality of a statewide legislative body, not purely statutory challenges to the apportionment of a statewide legislative body,” Jones wrote.
Besides the three cases Jones ruled on, two other redistricting lawsuits that were previously assigned to three-judge panels are also pending.