US Governor Vetoes Election Change

US Governor Vetoes Election Change

( – Every decade, the US Constitution requires state legislatures to redraw congressional districts to reflect changes in state populations. The concept is straightforward; the Constitution equally apportions US House seats among the states based on whether their populations grew or shrank. As easy as that task sounds, the process has become anything but simple over the last few cycles.

Across the country, Republicans dominate most state legislatures, meaning they control congressional boundaries. Many believed the GOP would pick up seats in 2022 and beyond because they would draw boundaries favorable to Republican candidates. It isn’t working out that way. Some states are playing nice, and in others, the courts are changing legislatively approved maps to create more fairness. The Democratic governor is at odds with his nearly veto-proof Republican-led legislature in Louisiana.

Governor Vetoes Congressional Map

On Wednesday, March 9, Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) rejected a new congressional map authorized by the overwhelmingly GOP-led legislature. The situation could become eerily similar to Pennsylvania, which has a similar issue. Because the Democratic governor couldn’t agree with the Republican legislature, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court decided on the map.

During the legislative process to create the congressional boundaries in Louisiana, Democrats and civil rights groups proposed several maps. Each one would have made an additional Black-majority district. The map passed by legislators only slightly changed the old map, and five of the six congressional districts remained solidly Republican.

The proposal didn’t sit well with Edwards. The governor stated that 33% of the state population is Black, and the citizens deserved a second Black congressional district. Edwards added the white population declined while the black population increased over the last decade. He attempted to make the legal case that the Republican map violated the Voting Rights Act, arguing the legislature needed to draw new maps so Black voters had representation in the halls of Congress.

If Edwards gets his way, it will most likely ensure a Democratic pickup seat in November.

The Republican Legislature Pushes Back

The Republican-dominated Louisiana legislature is two seats shy of overriding a veto. Three independents serve in the house, and if two throw their weight behind the GOP, they’ll successfully override the governor’s veto. GOP members expressed disappointment in the move, expressing optimism their map didn’t violate the law and eagerness to debate a veto override.

If the GOP is unsuccessful, the maps may head to the Louisiana Supreme Court to decide what the congressional boundaries look like over the next 10 years.

As of now, it appears as though the results could go either way.

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