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Vigilance in the Defense of Liberty and Freedom
Friday, May 13, 2011
The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”), the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, the National Urban League, and the NAACP State Conference of Louisiana issued a joint letter urging the Attorney General to reject a proposed redistricting plan for the Louisiana State House of Representatives. The organizations argue that Louisiana has failed to meet its burden of showing that the redistricting plan was not adopted with a discriminatory purpose as required under the Section 5 preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act.
Louisiana’s redistricting plan was adopted following strong protest from of a group of residents from Southern Hills – a community located outside of Shreveport. Southern Hills residents fought to oppose any configuration of a map that would have placed their community within a majority Black district. As one resident noted in his statement of opposition, “I do not like the idea of being forced to live in a minority area … Keep your hands off.” Ultimately, the state yielded to the racially-driven concerns of this group.