/Appeals court upholds ruling that Legislature diluted black voter strength in Senate District 22

Appeals court upholds ruling that Legislature diluted black voter strength in Senate District 22

Mid-June, Rob McDuff, an attorney representing African American plaintiffs in this case, stated that he expected the lower court’s decision to force the redrawing. McDuff stated that he believed the decision would stand because ballots were printed and qualified candidates were running in the new District 22. Last year, the Mississippi Center for Justice filed the lawsuit on behalf of four African Americans living in the district. The plaintiffs were favored by the Southern District of Mississippi Federal Judge Carlton Reeves. Reeves’ ruling led to the redefinition of the district by the Legislature in the final days of the 2019 legislative session. The governor. Phil Bryant and Secretary Delbert Hosemann appealed Reeves’ decision to the 5th Circuit. In June, oral arguments were heard by a three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit. On Thursday, the three-judge panel ruled 2-1 in favor of upholding the lower court’s decision. When asked whether it would appeal, the secretary of state’s offices did not respond. “We are pleased that the 5th Circuit agreed that overwhelming evidence in this case demonstrated that the Mississippi Legislature had drawn District 22 in a manner that denied African American voters an equal chance to participate in the political process. Kristen Clarke, executive director and president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law said that this is an important victory. This district covers parts of six counties and was drawn during the 2012 legislative session. The 2012 election of the Lt. Governor. Tate Reeves faced a dilemma with his redistricting team when trying to protect his newly appointed Appropriations chair, Republican Buck Clarke. The Senate needed to redistrict Clarke’s Delta centrerist District 22, in order to conform to the 2010 Census population shifts. Problem was, the district was surrounded by predominantly African Americans, who usually vote Democratic. To protect Clarke’s rights, the Senate decided to move the already large district south into Madison County, which is fast growing and affluent. It created a district stretching more than 100 miles and running from Bolivar County, in the heart of Delta, to Madison, a heavily Republican Jackson suburb. Clarke was reelected in the district in 2015. He is running for treasurer in New York State. The 2019 session saw the Legislature redraw the district to comply with Reeves’ decision. It added African American voters to Sunflower County and removed the majority of white voting precincts from Bolivar County. They were placed in District 13. According to those who filed the lawsuit, the result was that African Americans were able to keep a black senator from District 13 and add another in District 22. Colton Thornton, Ruffin Smith and Ermea Russell are the candidates who can run for District 22. Hayes Dent, Dwayneself and Dwayneself are the Republicans. Terrance Edison Jr. is an independent. The Democrats who qualified in District 13 are Carl Brinkley and Tony G. Anderson, Charles Modley. Sarita M. Simmons, John Marshall Alexander, and Charles Modley. B.C. B.C. Hammond is also running for District 13 as a Republican. Clarke defeated Thomas in the 2015 case