Today, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, the ACLU Voting Rights Practice, American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP, and Power Coalition for Equity and Justice submitted written testimony  regarding congressional redistricting to the Louisiana Committee on House and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Senate Governmental Affairs in advance of the upcoming roadshow. The coalition’s testimony came in response to remarks made by Chair Stefanski at a November 22 press conference about potential objections to drawing a second majority-Black opportunity district. Rep. Stefanski’s comments misinterpret federal and state law and misconstrue the Coalition maps, and the testimony submitted by the coalition corrects those inaccuracies and provides further guidance on the committee’s obligation to comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Below are examples of Rep. Stefanski’s inaccuracies addressed in LDF’s letter:

  • Chair Stefanski claimed that there is a lot of interest about preserving the current congressional configuration. LDF argues that preserving the current configuration is not an option because a new map without two majority-Black districts likely violates Section 2 by depriving Black voters of an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice in five out of six congressional districts.
  • Chair Stefanski also claimed that preserving the current configuration works because the current maps were precleared by the DOJ. LDF argues that Stefanski is conflating Section 5 and Section 2 of the voting rights act. The two provisions use different legal standards, and the fact that a map was precleared under Section 5 does not necessarily mean it would comply with Section 2. 
  • Chair Stefanski also questioned whether Congressional District 2, which includes New Orleans and parts of Baton Rouge, could remain majority-Black without Baton Rouge. Each of the seven illustrative maps submitted by LDF and other organization show that it is possible to draw an second majority-Black district that includes the majority of Baton Rouge. Basically, it is not necessary to pack Baton Rouge in a district with New Orleans to comply with the Voting Rights Act.

Read the full letter and view the coalition’s maps here.

LDF has been closely monitoring the redistricting processes in Louisiana and other key states to prevent discriminatory redistricting plans and ensure that legislatures comply with their obligations under the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution. Read more about LDF’s redistricting work here.


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.