Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity had filed objections that new political maps dilute Black voting power
By Maya T. Prabhu
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones started Wednesday’s hearing on the state’s newly drawn political districts dealing somewhat of a blow to those challenging the new maps.
In October, Jones ruled that districts passed in 2021 violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by illegally diluting Black voting power and tasked them with creating seven new majority-Black legislative districts and one new majority-Black congressional district. Gov. Brian Kemp signed the new GOP-drawn maps that keep the Legislature and state’s congressional delegation firmly in Republican control into law on Dec. 8.
Groups challenging the congressional maps are basing part of their argument on what they are calling the “dismantling” of a “minority opportunity district” with changes to Congressional District 7, currently represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath. Nonwhite voters make up a majority of the population in that district but no one race makes a majority.
Black voters overwhelmingly support Democrats in Georgia while most white voters back Republicans.
In his order, Jones said lawmakers could not eliminate any existing “minority opportunity districts,” generally defined as areas where racial minority groups are able to elect their preferred candidates by attracting some support from white voters. They also could not eliminate any existing majority-Black districts.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution