The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Voting Rights Act in a decision this summer involving an Alabama redistricting case.
“The Supreme Court was clear when it rejected Alabama’s arguments,” according to a court filing by the Justice Department. “... Indeed, defendants’ arguments are indistinguishable from Alabama’s assertions.”
But attorneys defending Georgia allege that the U.S. Constitution’s 14th and 15th amendments, which guarantee equal protection and prohibit abridging the right to vote based on race, should override the Voting Rights Act.
“The Voting Rights Act’s inherently race-based remedies are not justified by present conditions and are not congruent and proportional to the exercise of congressional power under the 14th and 15th Amendments,” the state said in a court filing last month.
The state has told the courts that it will appeal U.S. District Judge Steve Jones’ redistricting ruling, but it hasn’t filed an appeal yet. An appeal could take months or years for the courts to resolve.
In the meantime, Georgia’s attorneys aren’t trying to block Jones’ order before the General Assembly draws new statewide political maps, which must be completed by a court-imposed deadline of Dec. 8.
Jones ordered the General Assembly to draw a new majority-Black congressional district and seven additional state legislative districts with Black majorities.