Dec 7 (Reuters) – Georgia Republican lawmakers on Thursday approved a new U.S. House of Representatives district map for the 2024 elections that maintains their current 9-5 advantage while creating a majority-majority district court-ordered black man west of Atlanta.
However, in order to preserve Republicans’ statewide advantage, lawmakers dismantled a heavily minority district represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, a move that Democrats say contravenes the ruling. a federal judge.
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones tossed out the state’s old congressional map in October, finding it the diluted power of black voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in elections.
The ruling also says lawmakers can’t fix the problem “by eliminating minority districts elsewhere.”
Republicans have argued that the new map is consistent with the ruling because McBath’s seat, while majority-minority, is not a majority-black district.
This case is one of many could help determine which party will take control of the House in next year’s general election. The Republicans hold a narrow majority of 222 votes to 213.
The state House of Representatives approved the map along party lines Thursday, sending it to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature. The state Senate passed the map earlier this week.
Jones will review the card at a Dec. 20 hearing. If he doesn’t approve, he could appoint a special master to draw a new version that preserves McBath’s district while adding a new majority-black district, which would likely allow Democrats to flip a Republican seat.
Reporting by Joseph Axe; Editing by Daniel Wallis
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