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Obama-Appointed Federal Judge Strikes Down Georgia Congressional Map

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Georgia’s congressional and legislative maps violate the Voting Rights Act and must be redrawn by Dec. 8.

While commending Georgia for the progress it has made towards equality in voting, District Court Judge Steve Jones, an Obama appointee, found that Georgia has “not reached the point where the political process has equal openness and equal opportunity for everyone.” He blocked Georgia’s maps from being used in any future elections, finding they violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

“The Court commends Georgia for the great strides that it has made to increase the political opportunities of Black voters in the 58 years since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” he wrote. “Despite these great gains, the Court determines that in certain areas of the State, the political process is not equally open to Black voters.”

The state must come up with a new map that complies with the Voting Rights Act by Dec. 8, 2023, according to the ruling. Jones wrote that the court is “confident” they will be able to do so.

Jones noted that the past decade of Georgia’s population growth “was attributable to the minority population, however, the number of majority-Black congressional and legislative districts remained the same.”

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