New Map Poses New Challenge to Voting Rights Act
(Washington Post) — In a racially mixed corner of Shreveport, La., a small group of white voters protested loudly this year that they did not want to be part of a majority black district when the legislature redrew the state’s political boundaries. The Republican-led statehouse complied, drawing a line around the community to accommodate them. That line is at the heart of a case before the Justice Department that is seen as a critical test of how the Obama administration will interpret the controversial Voting Rights Act as it rules on a new wave of redistricting plans. The law, passed in 1965, was designed in part to prevent white lawmakers from weakening the voting strength of minorities with the deft drawing of district lines. More than a dozen states, including Louisiana, are required because of their history of discrimination to clear their redistricting plans with Justice.