Georgia sent notice on Wednesday it wouldn’t try to delay the order, paving the way for legislators to return to the Capitol for a Nov. 29 special session to redraw the state’s political boundaries.
Jones ordered legislators to create a new majority-Black congressional district in west metro Atlanta, along with seven more majority-Black legislative districts in the Atlanta and Macon areas.
Burns, the chamber’s top Republican, echoed other senior GOP officials who have indicated state Republicans won’t try to flout the ruling.
Many acknowledge if they don’t heed the order, Jones will appoint a special master to redraw the lines. By going forward with the redistricting, Republicans can still take steps to preserve key incumbents -- though it’s not clear how that will shake out.
“We’re certainly looking deeply into his exact order and what he expects and what his order involves, and what it will take to meet his order,” Burns said. “I serve with a group of very talented people in the House and we’re certainly going to consider lots of different viewpoints and opinions.”
The House speaker also told the Politically Georgia show he was skeptical of new efforts to limit abortion after the state’s top court upheld Georgia’s 2019 law that restricted the procedure as early as six weeks for many women.
“We worked very diligently to craft legislation that was balanced,” Burns said, noting that legal challenges against the law are still pending.
“Until we get all the facts in, as to where it might be impacted from the judicial branch, then I think we are in a good spot right now.”
Burns joined other GOP leaders who have so far resisted calls from anti-abortion activists in the party’s base who want new limits on the procedure or an all-out ban after the Georgia Supreme Court’s 6-1 ruling.
As lawmakers prepare for an election-year session, Burns said he was open to new efforts to combat crimes fueled by racism and antisemitism.
He was a key supporter of House Bill 30, a measure that would define antisemitism as a hate crime that was approved by the House but stalled in the Senate.
Now there’s a push to criminalize hate-filled flyers that white supremacist groups have used to target predominantly Jewish neighborhoods, along with other proposals to crack down on the rising number of antisemitic attacks.
“I think the House will stand ready to take a look at strengthening” Georgia laws targeting hate crimes, Burns said. He added: “There’s some troubling facts now in our country and in our state when it comes to hate crimes.”