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In the House, Part I: Good Ol' Boys

As we have written many times, Georgia is one of those states that is trying to reduce the representation of Black voters, only to be smacked down by the courts. The latest order issued to the Peach State, from U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, was to create another majority-Black district. This would, in theory, change a 9R, 5D delegation to 8R, 6D.

Yesterday, the Georgia legislature approved a new map, which Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) is expected to sign today. The new map certainly follows the letter of Jones' ruling, as it does create a new majority-Black district. However, the new map certainly does NOT follow the spirit, as it chops GA-07 into bits. Between Black, Latino and Asian voters, that district is majority-minority, and is represented by a Black woman, namely Rep. Lucy McBath (D). In other words, the new map would have no real chance of making the Georgia congressional delegation more diverse or more representative, and would maintain the 9R, 5D balance. As a reminder, Georgia is very possibly the most evenly divided state in the nation, having been decided by 0.23% in the 2020 presidential election.

As soon as Kemp signs off on the new map and makes it official, then voting-rights groups will promptly head to Jones' court to challenge it. But for the Georgia Republicans, there's really no downside to their defiance. Jones could agree they've done what they needed to do. Or, they could run out the clock, forcing the use of the current map for, at very least, the 2024 cycle. Even if the Georgians lose, then a special master will be appointed, and that person will draw the 8R, 6D map that the process should have produced anyhow. If there was a risk of a 7R, 7D map, then maybe the Georgia legislature might have thought twice about playing games. But special masters only produce fair maps, not punitive maps. (Z)

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