Georgia Looks to Courts to Clear Congressional Map

Posted October 9, 2011 at 9:31pm

Gov. Nathan Deal (R) and state Attorney General Sam Olens (R) submitted Georgia’s new legislative and Congressional boundaries for approval to both the Department of Justice and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia late last week.

The 1965 Voting Rights Act requires certain states to receive preclearance for any changes to voting lines. As Roll Call reported in May, many Republicans in Georgia ­— and other southern states — see the current Democrat-led Department of Justice as partisan.

“These plans were carefully drawn by the General Assembly to ensure that Georgia’s growing population is fairly represented, and we are confident that they meet the requirements for federal approval,” Deal and Olens said in a statement.

The new Congressional map shores up GOP-held seats while undermining the Democratic political bent of Rep. John Barrow’s (D) 12th district. Roll Call rates his seat as a Tossup.

If he loses, the state’s new Congressional delegation in January 2013 will likely have 10 Republicans and four Democrats. In January 1993, the delegation was 7-to-4 in Democrats’ favor; a decade later it was 8-to-5 in Republicans’ favor. If the DOJ approves the lines, the court case will be dismissed.