Obama-Appointed Judge Rules In Favor Of Republicans In Georgia
Brian Kemp, governor of Georgia, speaks during an election night rally in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams conceded to Governor Kemp on Tuesday in a rematch of their 2018 race, reported the Associated Press.
Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge, appointed by former President Barack Obama, upheld Republicans’ redrawn congressional maps in Georgia, on Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones had ordered new congressional maps to be drawn back in October, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on a case concerning black voters and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The judge found the new maps to be in compliance.

“The court finds that the general assembly fully complied with this court’s order requiring the creation of Black-majority districts in the regions of the state where vote dilution was found,” Jones wrote in his order.

The decision makes it likely that the GOP will maintain their 9-5 advantage with the state’s 14 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, Reuters reports.

Jones’ ruling in October said that numerous state and Congressional districts created in 2021 violated the Voting Rights Act and discriminated against black voters, GPB News noted, adding that the GOP-controlled General Assembly was then tasked with creating new maps that included an additional majority-black Congressional district, two additional majority-black state Senate districts, and five new majority-black districts in the state House.

The state filed an appeal, but also moved forward with a special session to address the issues with the Congressional maps.

The issue was first stirred up when the U.S. Supreme Court in June issued a surprising 5-4 ruling that found an Alabama Congressional map as discriminatory.

Chief Justice John Roberts was joined by fellow conservative Brett Kavanaugh and the court’s three liberal justices in the majority, requiring the Alabama state legislature to redraw a Congressional map to add an additional black-majority district in accordance with the Voting Rights Act, The Daily Wire reported at the time. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett dissented.


Those arguing that the map was discriminatory said the map was racially gerrymandered, packing black voters into the 7th congressional district to reduce the impact of their votes in other districts.

“A district is not equally open, in other words, when minority voters face – unlike their majority peers – bloc voting along racial lines, arising against the backdrop of substantial racial discrimination within the State, that renders a minority vote unequal to a vote by a nonminority voter,” Roberts wrote.

Thomas, who dissented, argued that the Voting Rights Act should not apply to redistricting, “At the outset, I would resolve these cases in a way that would not require the Federal Judiciary to decide the correct racial apportionment of Alabama’s congressional seats,” he wrote.

Nathan Gay contributed to this report.

Related: Supreme Court Blocks Alabama Congressional Map As Discriminatory

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