Read the Federal Judges’ Ruling (2024)

A newly drawn congressional map in Louisiana was struck down by a panel of federal judges who found that the new boundaries, which form a second majority Black district in the state, amounted to an “impermissible racial gerrymander” that violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 1 of 135 PageID #:4891UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTWESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANAMONROE DIVISIONPHILLIP CALLAIS, ET ALCIVIL DOCKET NO. 3:24-CV-00122DCJ-CES-RRSTHREE-JUDGE COURTVERSUSNANCY LANDRY, in her officialcapacity as Louisiana Secretary ofStateINJUNCTION AND REASONS FOR JUDGMENTOpinion of the Court by David C. Joseph and Robert R. Summerhays, District Judges.The present case involves a challenge to the current congressional redistrictingmap enacted in Louisiana on the grounds that one of the congressional districtscreated by the Louisiana State Legislature District 6 — is an impermissible racialgerrymander in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the FourteenthAmendment. This challenge reflects the tension between Section 2 of the VotingRights Act and the Equal Protection Clause. The Voting Rights Act protects minorityvoters against dilution resulting from redistricting maps that “crack” or “pack” a largeand "geographically compact" minority population. On the other hand, the EqualProtection Clause applies strict scrutiny to redistricting that is groundedpredominately on race.The challenged Louisiana redistricting scheme originated in response tolitigation brought under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act in a separate suit filed inthe United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, challengingLouisiana's prior redistricting scheme under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.Page 1 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 2 of 135 PageID #:4892Robinson, et al v. Ardoin, No. 3:22-cv-211; consolidated with Galmon et al v. Ardoin,No. 3:22-cv-214 (M.D. La.) ("Robinson Docket”). There, the district court concludedthat the Robinson plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim thatLouisiana's prior redistricting plan violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Inresponse, the Legislature adopted the present redistricting map (created by SenateBill 8) ("SB8"), which established a second majority-Black congressional district toresolve the Robinson litigation. The plaintiffs here then filed the present casechallenging this new congressional map on the grounds that the second majority-Black district created by the Legislature violates the Equal Protection Clause.This matter was tried before the three-judge panel from April 8-10, 2024.Having considered the testimony and evidence at trial, the arguments of counsel, andthe applicable law, we conclude that District 6 of SB8 violates the Equal ProtectionClause. Accordingly, the State is enjoined from using SB8 in any future elections.The Court's Opinion below constitutes its findings of fact and conclusions of law. TheCourt sets a status conference with all parties to discuss the appropriate remedy.A.I.PROCEDURAL AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUNDThe Hays Litigation"Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."Winston ChurchillFollowing the 1990 census, the Louisiana State Legislature (the "Legislature")enacted Act 42 of 1992, which created a new congressional voting map. Prior to theAct 42 map, Louisiana had seven congressional districts, one of which included amajority-Black voting population. Act 42 created a second majority-Black district.Page 2 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 3 of 135 PageID #:4893The existing majority-Black district encircled New Orleans, and the other, new one,"[l]ike the fictional swordsman Zorro, when making his signature mark,slash[ed]a giant but somewhat shaky 'Z' across the state.” Hays v. State of La., 839 F. Supp.1188, 1199 (W.D. La. 1993), vacated sub nom. Louisiana v. Hays, 512 U.S. 1230, 114S. Ct. 2731, 129 L.Ed.2d 853 (1994) ("Hays I").Several voters challenged the scheme. After a trial, a three-judge panel of theWestern District of Louisiana concluded that Act 42's plan violated the EqualProtection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution,and accordingly enjoined the use of that plan in any future elections. Id. In 1993,while an appeal of the district court's findings in Hays I was pending before theSupreme Court of the United States, the Legislature repealed Act 42 and passed Act1, creating a new map. Hays v. State of La., 862 F. Supp. 119, 125 (W.D. La. 1994),aff'd sub nom. St. Cyr v. Hays, 513 U.S. 1054, 115 S. Ct. 687, 130 L.Ed.2d 595 (1994),and vacated sub nom. United States v. Hays, 515 U.S. 737, 115 S. Ct. 2431, 132L.Ed.2d 635 (1995) ("Hays II).The 1993 map, like the 1992 map, had two majority-African American districts.Id. One encircled New Orleans, while the other was long and narrow and slashed250 miles in a southeasterly direction from Shreveport down to Baton Rouge. Thisdistrict was described as resembling “an inkblot which has spread indiscriminatelyacross the Louisiana map.” Id.Page 3 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 4 of 135 PageID #:48945LO46(Act 1)7312PE22 (Map from Hays II).The Supreme Court vacated Hays I and remanded the case for furtherproceedings in light of the passage of Act 1. See Louisiana v. Hays, 512 U.S. 1230,114 S. Ct. 2731, 129 L.Ed.2d 853 (1994). The panel of our colleagues making up thatthree-judge court determined that the Legislature had once again allowed race topredominant in the map's creation and declared Act 1 unconstitutional. Hays II at121. The case was again appealed to the Supreme Court. Without addressing themerits of the case, the Supreme Court determined that the plaintiffs lacked standingto challenge Act 1 as they did not reside in the challenged district. United States v.Hays, 515 U.S. 737, 115 S. Ct. 2431, 132 L.Ed.2d 635 (1995).On remand, the three-judge panel permitted an amended complaint to addressthe standing issue. The court then reiterated its findings from Hays II that Act 1Page 4 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 5 of 135 PageID #:4895constituted a racial gerrymander and was not narrowly tailored to further acompelling state interest. The court therefore found that Act 1 violated the EqualProtection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitutionand ordered the state to implement a redistricting plan drawn by the court. Hays v.Louisiana, 936 F. Supp. 360 (W.D. La. 1996) (“Hays III”).B.2020 Census and Events Leading up to the Robinson LitigationBased on the 2020 Census, Louisiana's population stood at 4,657,757 with avoting-age population of 3,570,548. JE6; JE15. As a result, the state qualified for sixcongressional districts one less district than it had during the Hays litigation, butthe same number it was allotted after the 2010 Census. JE15. Prior to the start ofthe legislative session on redistricting, members of the Legislature traveled acrossthe state conducting public hearings, called “roadshows,” to give the public theopportunity to voice their views on the redistricting process. See JE-3; see also Tr.,Vol. III, 513:14–514:17. The roadshows were “designed to share information aboutredistricting and solicit public comment and testimony.” Robinson v. Ardoin, 605F.Supp.3d 759, 767 (M.D. La. 2022), cert. granted before judgment, 142 S. Ct. 2892,213 L.Ed.2d 1107 (2022), and cert. dismissed as improvidently granted, 143 S. Ct.2654, 216 L.Ed.2d 1233 (2023), and vacated and remanded, 86 F.4th 574 (5th Cir.2023) ("Robinson Injunction Ruling").The Louisiana Senate Governmental Affairs and House Governmental Affairsconducted ten hearings as part of the roadshow across the state. Tr., Vol. II, 476:18–25; Tr., Vol. III, 513:18–514:7. These hearings allowed citizens to testify on theirredistricting preferences. Id. Senator Royce Duplessis, who served as Vice Chair ofPage 5 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 6 of 135 PageID #:4896the House and Governmental Affairs Committee at the time, attended the roadshowsand testified that “the purpose of the road shows was to give the public theopportunity to share their thoughts and what they wanted to see in redistricting.”Tr., Vol. III, 514:8–17.Louisiana ultimately enacted a new congressional map, created by House Bill1 ("HB1"), on March 31, 2022. JE1. As with Louisiana's prior congressional map,HB1 had one majority-Black district. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards vetoedHB1, but the Legislature overrode that veto. Robinson Injunction Ruling at 767.1Act 5 (HB1) 1st ES (2022)- Congressional Districts2022 Enacted Map (JE16).Page 6 of 60EXHIBIT

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 7 of 135 PageID #:4897C. The Robinson LitigationOn the same day that HB1 was enacted, a group of plaintiffs led by PressRobinson¹ (the “Robinson Plaintiffs"), and a second group of plaintiffs led by EdwardGalmon, Sr.2 (the "Galmon Plaintiffs"), filed suit against the Louisiana Secretary ofState in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.Robinson Injunction Ruling at 768. The Middle District consolidated the Robinsonand Galmon suits and allowed intervention by the President of the Louisiana StateSenate, the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, and the LouisianaAttorney General. Id. at 768-69.The Robinson and Galmon Plaintiffs alleged that the congressional mapcreated by HB1 diluted the votes of Black Louisianians in violation of Section 2 of theVoting Rights Act of 1965, 52 U.S.C. § 10301. Robinson Injunction Ruling at 768.This dilution was purportedly accomplished through "packing' large numbers ofBlack voters into a single majority-Black congressional district...and 'cracking' theremaining Black voters among the other five ensure they [would be]unable to participate equally in the electoral process.” Id. at 768. Both sets ofplaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction that would prohibit the Secretary of Statefrom using the HB1 map in the 2022 congressional elections, give the Legislature adeadline to enact a map that complied with the Voting Rights Act, and order the use1Press Robinson, Edgar Cage, Dorothy Nairne, Edwin Rene Soule, Alice Washington,Clee Earnest Lowe, Davante Lewis, Martha Davis, Ambrose Sims, National Association forthe Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") Louisiana State Conference, and PowerCoalition for Equity and Justice.2Edward Galmon, Sr., Ciara Hart, Norris Henderson, and Tramelle Howard.Page 7 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 8 of 135 PageID #:4898of a map proposed by the plaintiffs in the event the Legislature failed to enact acompliant map. Id. at 769.The Middle District held an evidentiary hearing in the Robinson matter,beginning May 9, 2022. Robinson Injunction Ruling at 769. On June 6, 2022, thecourt issued a preliminary injunction finding that the Robinson and GalmonPlaintiffs were likely to prevail on their Section 2 vote dilution claims. Id. at 851-52.The Middle District further determined that a new compliant voting map could bedrawn without disrupting the 2022 election. Id. at 856.Accordingly, the Middle District entered an order enjoining the Secretary ofState from conducting elections using the HB1 map, ordered the Legislature to enacta new voting map that included a second majority-Black voting district by June 20,2022, and stayed the state's nominating petition deadline until July 8, 2022.Robinson Injunction Ruling at 858. In the event the Legislature failed to enact a newmap before the deadline, the Middle District set an evidentiary hearing for June 29,2022, regarding which map should be used in its place. Robinson Docket, [Doc. 206].On June 9, 2022, the Middle District denied a motion to stay the injunctionpending appeal. Robinson v. Ardoin, No. CV 22-211-SDD-SDJ, 2022 WL 2092551(M.D. La. June 9, 2022). While the United States Court of Appeals for the FifthCircuit initially stayed the injunction review on the same day, Robinson v. Ardoin,No. 22-30333, 2022 WL 2092862 (5th Cir. June 9, 2022), it vacated the stay a fewdays later. Robinson v. Ardoin, 37 F.4th 208, 232 (5th Cir. 2022). On June 28, 2022,the Supreme Court of the United States again stayed the Middle District's injunction.Ardoin v. Robinson, 142 S. Ct. 2892, 213 L.Ed.2d 1107 (2022). On June 26, 2023,Page 8 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 9 of 135 PageID #:4899after the Supreme Court issued its decision in Alabama v Milligan, 599 U.S. 1, 143S. Ct. 1487, 216 L.Ed.2d 60 (2023), the court vacated the stay in Robinson asimprovidently granted, allowing review of the matter to continue before the FifthCircuit. Ardoin v. Robinson, 143 S. Ct. 2654, 216 L.Ed.2d 1233 (2023).In response to the Supreme Court's action in vacating the stay, the MiddleDistrict reset the remedial evidentiary hearing to begin October 3, 2023. RobinsonDocket, [Doc. 250]. The Louisiana Attorney General sought mandamus from theFifth Circuit, which vacated the evidentiary hearing. In re Landry, 83 F.4th 300, 308(5th Cir. 2023).On November 10, 2023, the Fifth Circuit issued its decision on the Secretaryof State's appeal of the Middle District's preliminary injunction. Robinson v. Ardoin,86 F.4th 574 (5th Cir. 2023) ("Robinson Appeal Ruling"). Although noting that theRobinson Plaintiffs' arguments were “not without weaknesses," the Circuit Courtfound no clear error with the Middle District's factual findings, nor with its conclusionthat the HB1 map likely violated Section 2, and held that the preliminary injunctionwas valid when it was issued. Robinson Appeal Ruling at 599. However, because the2022 election had already occurred and because the Legislature had time to enact anew map without disrupting the 2024 election, the Fifth Circuit concluded that thedistrict court's preliminary injunction was no longer necessary. Id. Accordingly, theFifth Circuit vacated the injunction to give the Legislature the opportunity, if itdesired, to enact a new redistricting plan before January 15, 2024. Id. at 601. TheFifth Circuit opinion did not provide any parameters or specific direction as to howthe Legislature was to accomplish this task. Id. If no new re-districting plan wasPage 9 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 10 of 135 PageID #:4900enacted before January 15, 2024, the Fifth Circuit directed the district court, “toconduct a trial and any other necessary proceedings to decide the validity of the HB1map, and, if necessary, to adopt a different districting plan for the 2024 elections.”Id.The Middle District thereafter set a remedial evidentiary hearing for February5, 2024. Prior to that date, and as detailed below, the Legislature enacted SB8,creating a new congressional districting map. Upon notice of SB8's enactment, theMiddle District cancelled the remedial hearing. Robinson Docket, [Doc. 343].D. Legislative ResponseAmong the first actions of newly inaugurated Governor Jeff Landry was to callthe 2024 First Extraordinary Session on Monday, January 8, 2024 (the "SpecialSession"). JE8. This call directed the Legislature to, among other things, “legislaterelative to the redistricting of the Congressional districts of Louisiana.” Id. On thefirst day of the Special Session, Governor Landry addressed the joint chambers. Afterdetailing his extensive efforts in Robinson to defend the congressional map enactedin 2022, he stated: "we have exhausted all legal remedies and we have labored withthis issue for far too long." JE35 at 11. “[N] ow, once and for all," he continued, “Ithink it's time that we put this to bed. Let us make the necessary adjustments toheed the instructions of the court. Take the pen out of the hand of a non-elected judgeand place it in your hands. In the hands of the people. It's really that simple. I wouldbeg you, help me make this a reality in this special session, for this special purpose,on this special day.” Id.Page 10 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 11 of 135 PageID #:4901The product of the Special Session was SB8, which was passed on January 22,2024. JE10. The Court has reviewed the entire legislative record, including theJanuary 15 Joint Session, the January 15 House and Governmental AffairsCommittee hearing, the January 16 Senate and Governmental Affairs Committeehearing, the January 17 Senate floor debate, the January 17 House andGovernmental Affairs Committee hearing, the January 18 House floor hearing, theJanuary 18 House and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, the January 19House of Representatives floor debate, and the January 19 Senate floor debate.PE23-29. Numerous comments during the Special Session highlight the intent of theLegislature in passing SB8.Senator Glen Womack, the Senate sponsor of SB8, stated at the legislativesession that redistricting must occur because of the litigation occurring in the MiddleDistrict of Louisiana. PE41, at 18. Specifically because of that litigation, SenatorWomack opined that “we had to draw two majority minority districts." PE41, at 20.Later in the Special Session, Senator Womack, in addressing the odd shape of SB8'sDistrict 6 (shown below), admitted that creating two majority-Black districts is "thereason why District 2 is drawn around the Orleans Parish and why District 6 includesthe Black population of East Baton Rouge Parish and travels up I-49 corridor toinclude Black population in Shreveport.” PE41, at 26. Senator Womack alsoprofessed: "we all know why we're here. We were ordered to draw a new black district,and that's what I've done." JE31, 121:21-22Likewise, in the House of Representatives, Representative Beau Beaullieu wasasked during his presentation of SB8 by Representative Beryl Amedee, “is this billPage 11 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 12 of 135 PageID #:4902intended to create another Black district?" and Representative Beaullieu responded,."yes, ma'am, and to comply with the judge's order." JE33, 9:3-8. RepresentativeJosh Carlson stated, even in his support of SB8, that “the overarching argument thatI've heard from nearly everyone over the last four days has been race first" and that"race seems to be, at least based on the conversations, the driving force” behind theredistricting plan. Id. at 97:18-19, 21-24.But, Representative Carlson acknowledged that racial integration madedrawing a second majority-Black district difficult:-And so the reason why this is so difficult is because we are moving inthe right direction. We don't have concentrated populations ofofcertain minorities or populations of white folks in certain areas. It isspread out throughout the state. Compared to Alabama, Alabama has17 counties that are minority-majority, and they're all contiguous.Louisiana has seven parishes that are minority-majority and only threeare contiguous. That's why this process is so difficult, but here we arewithout any other options to move forward.Id. at 98:2-12.Representative Rodney Lyons, Vice Chairman of the House and GovernmentalAffairs Committee, stated that the "mission that we have here is that we have tocreate two majority-Black districts.” JE31, 75:24-76:1. Senator Jay Morris alsoremarked that “[i]t looks to me we primarily considered race." JE34, 7:2-3. SenatorGary Carter went on to express his support for SB8 and read a statement fromCongressman Troy Carter on the Senate floor:My dear friends and colleagues, as I said on the steps of the capital, Iwill work with anyone who wants to create two majority-minoritydistricts. I am not married to any one map. I have worked tirelessly tohelp create two majority-minority districts that perform. That's how Iknow that there may be better ways to create to craft both of thesedistricts. There are multiple maps that haven't been reviewed at all.Page 12 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 13 of 135 PageID #:4903However, the Womack map creates two majority-minority districts, andtherefore I am supportive of it. And I urge my former colleagues andfriends to vote for it while trying to make both districts stronger withappropriate amendment. We do not want to jeopardize this rareopportunity to give African American voters the equal representationthey rightly deserve.JE30, 16:10-25.Louisiana Attorney General Murrill also gave the legislators advice during theSpecial Session. She told them that the 2022 enacted map, HB1, was a defensibleand lawful map. JE28, 36:24-37:1. She stated, “I am defending that map, and so youwon't hear me say that I believe that that map violated the redistricting criteria,” 42:23, and “I am defending it now." Id. at 46:3-4. She further declared "I amdefending what I believe to have been a defensible map.” Id. at 53:2. She alsoinformed legislators that the Robinson litigation had not led to a fair or reliableresult. Id. at 61:20-62:12, 62:24-63:3, 63:6-17.SB8 was the only congressional map to advance out of committee and throughthe legislative process. The map was passed on Friday, January 19, 2024, and signedby the Governor as Act 2 on January 22, 2024. JE10. SB8's second majority-minoritydistrict, District 6, stretches some 250 miles from Shreveport in the northwest cornerof the state to Baton Rouge in southeast Louisiana, slicing through metropolitanareas to scoop up pockets of predominantly Black populations from Shreveport,Alexandria, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge. The figure below, which shows the mapenacted by SB8, demonstrates the highly irregular shape of Congressional District 6.Page 13 of 60

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EXHIBITJE14Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 14 of 135 PageID #:49041दारM11PE14.When converted to a black and white map and placed next to the Hays II map,the similarities of the two maps become obvious.4(ACK 1)57Black and White Version of PE14 (left) and PE22 (right).Page 14 of 603

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 15 of 135 PageID #:4905E.The Parties and Their ClaimsThe Plaintiffs, Philip Callais, Lloyd Price, Bruce Odell, Elizabeth Ersoff, AlbertCaissie, Daniel Weir, Joyce LaCour, Candy Carroll Peavy, Tanya Whitney, MikeJohnson, Grover Joseph Rees, and Rolfe McCollister, challenge SB8. [Doc. 156].Plaintiff Philip Callais is a registered voter of District 6. Id. Plaintiff Albert Caissie,Jr. is a registered voter of District 5. Id. Plaintiff Elizabeth Ersoff is a registeredvoter of District 6. Id. Plaintiff Grover Joseph Rees is a registered voter of District6. Id. Plaintiff Lloyd Price is a registered voter of District 6. Id. Plaintiff RolfeMcCollister is a registered voter of District 5. Id. Plaintiff Candy Carroll Peavy is aregistered voter of District 4. Id. Plaintiff Mike Johnson is a registered voter ofDistrict 4. Id. Plaintiff Bruce Odell is a registered voter of District 3. Id. PlaintiffJoyce LaCour is a registered voter of District 2. Id. Plaintiff Tanya Whitney is aregistered voter of in District 1. Id. Plaintiff Danny Weir, Jr., is a registered voterof District 1. Id. Each of the Plaintiffs is described as a “non-Black voter.” [Doc. 1].The State Defendants are Secretary of State Nancy Landry, in her officialcapacity, and the State of Louisiana, represented by Attorney General ElizabethMurrill. [Doc. 156]. The State intervened as a defendant on February 26, 2024. [Doc.79].Press Robinson, Edgar Cage, Dorothy Nairne, Edwin Rene Soule, AliceWashington, Clee Earnest Lowe, Davante Lewis, Martha Davis, Ambrose Sims,National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Louisiana StateConference, and Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (collectively "RobinsonIntervenors") are African American Louisiana voters and civil rights organizations.Page 15 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 16 of 135 PageID #:4906[Doc. 156]. They were Plaintiffs in Robinson, et al v. Landry, No. 3:22-cv-0211-SDD-SDJ (M.D. La.) and intervened here as defendants to defend SB8. [Doc. 156]. Theyintervened permissively in the remedial phase of this litigation on February 26, 2024,and permissively in the liability phase on March 15, 2024. [Docs. 79, 114]. DavanteLewis lives in District 6. Tr., Vol. III, 567:23-568:1. The voting districts for the otherindividual Robinson Intervenors was not established in the record.Plaintiffs assert that: (1) the State has violated the Equal Protection Clause ofthe Fourteenth Amendment by enacting a racially gerrymandered district; and (2)the State has violated the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments by intentionallydiscriminating against voters and abridging their votes based on racial classificationsacross the State of Louisiana. [Doc. 1, ¶ 5]. The Plaintiffs request that the Courtissue a declaratory judgment that SB8 is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth andFifteenth Amendments, issue an injunction barring the State of Louisiana from usingSB8's map of congressional districts for any election, and institute a congressionaldistricting map that remedies these violations. Id., p. 31.F.The Three-Judge Panel and TrialOn February 2, 2024, Priscilla Richman, the Chief Judge of the Fifth CircuitCourt of Appeals, issued an Order Constituting Three-Judge Court. [Doc. 5]. ChiefJudge Richman designated Judge Carl E. Stewart, of the Fifth Circuit Court ofAppeals, Judge Robert R. Summerhays, of the Western District of Louisiana, andJudge David C. Joseph, of the Western District of Louisiana, to serve on the three-judge district court convened under 28 U.S.C. § 2284. Id. On February 17, 2024,Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction. [Doc. 17]. On February 21, 2024,Page 16 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 17 of 135 PageID #:4907the Court issued a Scheduling Order setting the hearing on the PreliminaryInjunction consolidated with trial on the merits—to commence on April 8, 2024, inShreveport, Louisiana. [Doc. 63]. The hearing commenced on April 8, 2024, andended on April 10, 2024. Collectively, the parties introduced thirteen (13) witnessesand one hundred ten (110) exhibits.II.EVIDENTIARY RECORDA.Fact Witnesses1.Legislatorsa.Alan SeabaughAlan Thomas Seabaugh is a Louisiana State Senator for District 31, located innorthwest Louisiana. Senator Seabaugh took office in January 2024. He hadpreviously served as a Louisiana State Representative for thirteen years. Tr. Vol. I,42:16-17. Senator Seabaugh testified that the only reason the Legislature wasattempting to pass a redistricting plan during the Special Session was the litigationpending in the Middle District of Louisiana, and specifically “Judge Dick saying thatshe - if we didn't draw the second minority district, she was going to. I think that'sthe only reason we were there." Id. at 47:22-48:1. When asked if having a secondmajority-Black district was the one thing that could not be compromised in the plansbeing considered, Senator Seabaugh testified “that's why we were there." Id. at 50:2.Senator Seabaugh ultimately voted no to SB8 and indicated that he believed the 2022map (HB1) was a good map. Id. at 52:19-22. On cross examination, SenatorSeabaugh acknowledged that, in determining how to draw the new districts,Page 17 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 18 of 135 PageID #:4908protecting the districts of Mike Johnson and Stephen Scalise-two of Louisiana'srepresentatives in the United States House of Representatives, serving as Speakerand Majority Leader, respectively – were important considerations. Id. at 60:8-20.b. Thomas PresslyThomas Pressly is a Louisiana State Senator for District 38, which is locatedin the northwest corner of Louisiana. Senator Pressly took office in January 2024.He had previously served as a Louisiana State Representative for four years. Tr.,Vol. I, 66:1-6. Senator Pressly testified that during the Special Session, “the racialcomponent in making sure that we had two performing African American districtswas the fundamental tenet that we were looking at. Everything else was secondaryto that discussion." Id. at 69:16-19. Senator Pressly acknowledged that politicalconsiderations were also factored into the ultimate redistricting plan, stating:-[t]he conversation was that we would – that we were being told we hadto draw a second majority-minority seat. And the question then was,okay, who - how do we do this in a way to ensure that we're not gettingrid of the Speaker of the House, the Majority Leader, and SenatorWomack spoke on the floor about wanting to protect Julia Letlow aswell.Id. at 72:1-7. Senator Pressly testified that he did not believe that his district in thenorthwest corner of Louisiana shares a community of interest with either Lafayetteor Baton Rouge, both located in the southern half of Louisiana, based on eithernatural disaster concerns or educational needs. Id. at 73:1-23. Senator Pressly spokeagainst SB8 during the Special Session and testified that he believed the 2022 mapshould be retained. Id. at 77:6-8.Page 18 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 19 of 135 PageID #:4909C. Mandie LandryMandie Landry is a Louisiana State Representative for House District 91,located in New Orleans. She took office in January 2020. Tr., Vol. II, 366:2-3.Representative Landry testified that the Special Session was convened because theRepublicans were afraid that if they did not draw a map which satisfied the court,then the court would draw a map that would not be as politically advantageous forthem. Id. at 368:8-10. Representative Landry indicated that she understoodGovernor Jeff Landry to favor the map created by SB8, in part because he believedthe map would resolve the Robinson litigation in the Middle District, and in partbecause the new map would cause Congressman Garrett Graves a Republicanincumbent with whom Landry was believed to have a contentious relationship – tolose his seat. Id. at 369:10-15.d. Royce DuplessisRoyce Duplessis is a Louisiana State Senator representing Senate District 5,which is located in the New Orleans area. He took office in December 2022 andpreviously served as a Louisiana State Representative for over four years. Tr. Vol.III, 512:21-24. Senator Duplessis testified that his understanding of the reason forthe Special Session was “to put an end to the litigation and adopt a map that wascompliant with the Judge's order." Id. at 519:22-23. Though he was not a member ofthe Senate's redistricting committee, Senator Duplessis co-sponsored a separate billduring the Special Session, namely SB4, which also created two majority-Blackdistricts. Id. at 521:1-2. SB4 was ultimately voted down in committee in favor ofSB8. Id. at 523:14-23. Senator Duplessis testified that he believed SB8 passedPage 19 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 20 of 135 PageID #:4910because Governor Landry supported SB8 for political reasons. Id. at 525:1-7. SenatorDuplessis voted in favor of SB8 because he believed it complied with the Voting RightsAct, it met the criteria ordered by the court, and was a fair map which would satisfythe people of Louisiana. Id. at 527:23 -528:9. Senator Duplessis testified that he wasvery proud of the passage of SB8 because:It was always very clear that a map with two majority black districtswas the right thing. It wasn't the only thing, but it was a majorcomponent to why we were sent there to redraw a map.Id. at 530:15-19.2.Community Membersa. Cedric Bradford GloverCedric Bradford Glover is a resident of Shreveport, Louisiana, who previouslyserved a total of five terms in the Louisiana House of Representatives, and two termsas mayor of Shreveport. Tr., Vol. II, 454:12-20. Mayor Glover testified that hebelieves SB8's District 6 reflects common communities of interest, specifically the I-49 corridor, the communities along the Red River, higher education campuses,healthcare systems, and areas of economic development. Id. at 457:17-458:21.b. Pastor Steven Harris, Sr.Steven Harris, Sr. resides in Natchitoches, Louisiana, where he serves as afull-time pastor and a member of the Natchitoches Parish School Board. Tr., Vol. II,463:5-6. Pastor Harris' ministerial duties require him to travel to Alexandria,Shreveport, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and places in between. Id. at 463:18-20. PastorHarris, who lives and works in District 6, testified that there are communities ofinterest among the areas in which he regularly travels, specifically churches andPage 20 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 21 of 135 PageID #:4911educational institutions. Id. at 466:24 467:16. Pastor Harris testified that he—believes Baton Rouge has more in common with Alexandria and Shreveport than withNew Orleans, due to the different culture, foods, and music. Id. at 467:20-468:14.C. Ashley Kennedy SheltonAshley Kennedy Shelton resides in Baton Rouge and founded and runs thePower Coalition for Equity and Justice (the “Coalition"), one of the RobinsonIntervenors. Tr., Vol. II, p. 474:8-11. The Coalition is a 501(c)(3) civic engagementorganization which seeks to create “pathways to power for historicallydisenfranchised communities." Id. at 474:24-475:1. She testified that the Coalitionhas been involved with the redistricting process since the 2020 census by educatingthe community about the redistricting process, as well as encouraging communityinvolvement in that process. Id. at 475:21. Ms. Shelton initially supported SB4,another map offered in the Special Session which also contained two majority-minority districts, but that map did not move out of committee. Id. at 482:1-2. Ms.Shelton, along with the Coalition, went on to support SB8 because it:centered communities that have never been centered in any of thecurrent congressional districts that they are within. And so when youlook at the district that's created in SB8, the communities across thatdistrict are living in poverty, have poor health outcomes, lack of accessto economic opportunity, similar hospitals, similar size airports. Likethere is this there is this opportunity to really center thesecommunities in a way that they have not had the attention in thecurrent districts that they exist within.Id. at 483:6-15.-Page 21 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 22 of 135 PageID #:4912d. Davante LewisDavante Lewis, one of the Robinson Intervenors, is a resident of Baton Rouge,Louisiana, and currently serves as a commissioner for the Louisiana Public ServiceCommission and chief strategy officer of Invest in Louisiana. Tr., Vol. III, 542:23-25.Commissioner Lewis testified that he has been involved in politics since he was ateenager and has taken part in the redistricting process on numerous occasions as alobbyist. Id. at 548:3-15. During the Special Session, Commissioner Lewis initiallysupported SB4, another bill which also included two majority-minority districts butfailed to pass out of committee. Id. at 553:15-22. Commissioner Lewis, who is now aresident in District 6, testified that he was happy with the passage of SB8 because “itaccomplishes the goals that I wanted to see which was complying with the rule of lawas well as creating a second [B]lack-majority district." Id. at 576:16-18.Commissioner Lewis believes that he shares common interests with voters living inother areas within District 6, namely economies, civic organizations, religiousorganizations, educational systems, and agriculture. Id. at 578:14-25. On cross-examination, Commissioner Lewis admitted that District 6 intersects four of the fivepublic service commission districts in the state.B.Expert Witnessesa. Dr. Stephen VossThe Court accepted Plaintiffs' witness Dr. Stephen Voss as an expert in thefields of: (i) racial gerrymandering; (ii) compactness; and (iii) simulations.³ Tr., Vol.3Plaintiffs retained Dr. Stephen Voss to answer three questions: (1) whether SB8represents an impermissible racial gerrymander, where race was the predominant factor inPage 22 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 23 of 135 PageID #:4913I, 92:13-25; 93:1-19; 111:6-7; 123:7-9. Dr. Voss was born in Louisiana, lived most ofhis life in Jefferson Parish, and earned his Ph.D. in political science at HarvardUniversity, where his field of focus was quantitative analysis of political methodology.Id. at 85:12-13; 87:8-21.Dr. Voss began his testimony by comparing the districts created by SB8 to pastenacted congressional maps in Louisiana and other proposals that the Legislatureconsidered during the Special Session. Tr., Vol. I, 97:19-98:2. Dr. Voss describedDistrict 6 as a district:that stretches, or I guess the term is "slashes," across the state ofLouisiana to target four metropolitan areas, which is the majority of thelarger cities in the state. It then scoops out from each of thosepredominant – the majority black and predominantly black precinctsfrom each of those cities.Id. at 93:25; 94:1-5. Dr. Voss explained that the borders of District 6, which includeportions of the distant parishes of Lafayette and East Baton Rouge, track along Blackcommunities, including precincts with larger Black population percentages whileavoiding communities with large numbers of white voters. Id. at 94:18-95:10. Dr.Voss reiterated that the boundaries of District 6 were drawn specifically to containheavily Black-populated portions of cities while leaving more white-populated areasin the neighboring districts. Id. at 96:7-16; PE3; PE4. Dr. Voss also testified that,compared to other maps proposed during the Special Session and other pastcongressional maps, SB8 split a total of 18 of Louisiana's 64 parishes, Tr., Vol. I,the drawing of district lines; (2) whether SB8 sacrificed traditional redistricting criteria inorder to create two majority-minority districts; and (3) whether the Black population inLouisiana is sufficiently large and compact to support two majority-minority districts thatconform to traditional redistricting criteria. Tr., Vol. I, 91:3-25 (Voss).Page 23 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 24 of 135 PageID #:491497:19-99:11, and, at 62.9 percent of Louisiana's population, had the highestpercentage of individuals affected by parish splits. Id. 98:3-99:11; PE6.Dr. Voss also studied the compactness of SB8 under three generally acceptedmetrics: (i) Reock Score; (ii) Polsby-Popper score; and (iii) Know It When You See It(“KIWYSI”). Tr., Vol. I, 100:22-103:5. Dr. Voss found that across all three measuresof compactness, SB8 performed worse than either HB1 (the map that was enacted in2022) or the map that HB1 replaced from the previous decade. Id. at 104:25-105:4;PE7. Thus, SB8 did not produce compact maps when judged in comparison to otherreal-life congressional maps of Louisiana. Tr., Vol. I, 107:16-21. Dr. Voss also foundthat SB8's majority-Black districts were especially non-compact compared to otherplans that also included two majority-minority districts. Id. at 106:17-24. Accordingto Dr. Voss, SB8's District 6 scored worse on the Polsby-Popper test than the secondmajority-Black districts in other proposed plans that created a second majority-Blackdistrict. Id. at 106:17-24.Dr. Voss further testified that SB8's and District 6's uniquely poor compactnesswas not necessary if the goal was to accomplish purely political goals. “If you're nottrying to draw a second black majority district, it is very easy to protectRepresentative Julia Letlow. Even if you are, it's not super difficult to protect4According to Dr. Voss, a district's "Reock score" quantifies its compactness bymeasuring how close the district is to being a circle. Tr., Vol. 1, 100:23-6. A district's "Polsby-Popper" score is intended to take into account a district's jagged edges and “tendrils.” Id.,101:25-102:19. Finally, the “Know It When You See It” method uses a metric derived bypanels of judges and lawyers and a representative sample of people looking at the shape of adistrict and giving their quantification of compactness. Id., 102:20-104:2. The KIWYSImethod originated from individuals' subjective judgments, but the metric itself isstandardized and uses specific software to compute a numerical figure representingcompactness. Id., 103:15-104:2.Page 24 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 25 of 135 PageID #:4915Additionally,Representative Julia Letlow,” he testified. Tr., Vol. I, 108:17-21.according to Dr. Voss, the Legislature did not need to enact a map with two majority-minority districts in order to protect Representative Letlow's congressional seat:"[Representative Letlow] is in what historically is called the Macon Ridge...[a]ndgiven where she is located, it is not hard to get her into a heavily Republican, heavilywhite district." Id. at 111:15-23. Dr. Voss testified similarly with respect toRepresentative Garrett Graves, concluding that the Legislature did not need to enacta second majority-minority district in order to put Representative Garrett Graves ina majority-Black district. Id. at 112:2-16. Thus, Dr. Voss concluded that neither thegoal of protecting Representative Letlow's district, nor the goal of targetingRepresentative Graves, would have been difficult to accomplish while still retainingcompact districts. Id. at 110:15-22.Dr. Voss testified extensively about simulations, explaining that he used theRedist simulation package (“Redist”) to analyze the statistical probability of theLegislature creating SB8 without race predominating its action.5 Id. at 113:14-115:6.Using Redist, Dr. Voss compared “lab-grown” simulations of possible maps to SB8 inorder to analyze the decisions the Legislature made during the redistricting process,Id. at 114:2-23, so that he could judge whether the parameters or constraints underwhich he created the simulations could explain the deviations evident in SB8. Id. at118:15-23. Dr. Voss testified that he performed tens of thousands of both “race-5According to Dr. Voss, Redist uses Sequential Monte Carlo ("SMC”) simulation inorder to generate a representative sample of districts that could have been drawn undercertain parameters. Id., 113:8-114:10.Page 25 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 26 of 135 PageID #:4916conscious" and "race-neutral” simulations, and that none of these simulationsrandomly produced a map with two Democratic districts. Id. at 138:9-14. On thatbasis, Dr. Voss opined that the non-compact features of SB8 are predominantlyexplained by racial considerations. Id. at 139:17-23.Concluding that District 6 performs worse on the Polsby-Popper score than thesecond majority-Black district in the other plans; worse on the Reock score than theother plans that created a second majority-Black district, with a very low score; andworse on the KIWYSI method than the other plans and the majority-Black districtsthey proposed, Id. at 106:18-24, Dr. Voss ultimately opined that SB8 represents animpermissible racial gerrymander. Id. at 92:23-24.b. Dr. Cory McCartanDr. Cory McCartan was proffered by the Robinson Intervenors in rebuttal toDr. Voss and was qualified by the Court as an expert in the fields of redistricting andthe use of simulations. Tr., Vol. I, 187:5-14. Though Dr. McCartan criticized Dr. Vossfor a number of his methodologies, the Court notes that Dr. McCartan conducted notests or simulations of his own, Id. at 215:18-21, and his testimony was often undercutby his own previous analysis.First, Dr. McCartan criticized Dr. Voss's simulations on grounds that Dr. Vossdid not incorporate the relevant redistricting criteria used by actual mapmakers. 198:10-24. Dr. McCartan also questioned the efficacy of simulations in detectingracial gerrymandering. Id. at 196:13-25; 197:1-12. Yet Dr. McCartan had previouslyled the Algorithm Assisted Redistricting Methodology (“ALARM”) Project team,which traversed the country simulating multiple districts in multiple states,Page 26 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 27 of 135 PageID #:4917-including Louisiana, and authored a paper which declared that simulations are well-suited to assess what types of racial outcomes could have happened under alternativeplans in a given state. Id. at 227:9-21. Dr. McCartan also testified that he himselfused the ALARM project to detect partisan, or political gerrymandering – ultimatelyfinding that Louisiana had only one plausible district favoring the Democratic party.Id. at 216:23-25. And on cross-examination, Dr. Voss confirmed that ProfessorKosuke Imai, who helped develop the Redist software, applied these same simulationtechniques in the racial gerrymandering context. Id. at 150:18-151:1. On this point,therefore, the Court finds Dr. McCartan's testimony unpersuasive.Dr. McCartan also criticized Dr. Voss for not imposing a constraint in hissimulations for natural or geographic boundaries. Id. at 200:1-6. Yet Dr. McCartanacknowledged that in his work with ALARM to generate Louisiana congressionalmap simulations, his team did not impose any kind of requirement for natural orgeographic boundaries. Id. at 230:24-231:1. Dr. McCartan also criticized Dr. Vossfor not adding incumbent protection as a constraint in the simulations, but whenpressed, could not testify that this extra constraint would trigger the creation of asecond majority-minority district. Id. at 238:11-16 (McCartan).Similarly, Dr. McCartan could not give a convincing reason why it wasappropriate for his own team to use a compactness constraint of 1.0, while testifyingthat this same criterion made Dr. Voss's simulations unrepresentative. Id. at 231:5-16. Dr. Voss, on the other hand, explained why adjustments to the compactnesscriterion made the simulation results less reliable. Id. at 162:22-24, 163:21-165:19.Finally, Dr. McCartan confirmed that both his simulations on LouisianaPage 27 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 28 of 135 PageID #:4918congressional maps and Dr. Voss's simulations generated plans that were morecompact than the enacted version of SB8, which was far worse than the Polsby-Popper compactness scores of both Dr. McCartan's and Dr. Voss's simulations. Id. at233:20-24 (McCartan). Dr. McCartan also acknowledged that his own partisangerrymandering simulations yielded no more than 10 out of 5,000 maps with a secondDemocratic seat. Id. at 235:4-236:12.was theIn evaluating the testimony of Dr. Voss and Dr. McCartan, the Court finds Dr.Voss's testimony to be credible circ*mstantial evidence that racepredominant factor in crafting SB8. Though Dr. McCartan provided some insightinto the uses of simulations in detecting the presence of racial gerrymandering, histestimony indicated that his own team had performed simulations under conditionsnot unlike Dr. Voss's, and with conclusions that supported Dr. Voss. Dr. McCartan'sother criticisms of Dr. Voss were either not well-founded or rebutted.c. Michael HefnerPlaintiffs proffered Michael Hefner as an expert demographer, and he wasqualified by the Court as such. Tr., Vol. II, 270:23-15; 271:1-5. Mr. Hefner is fromLouisiana and has lived his whole life in various parts of the state. Id. at 258:3-6;[Doc. 182-8]. Having worked in the field of demography for 34 years, most of Mr.Hefner's work consists of creating redistricting plans for governmental entities,including municipalities and school boards, throughout the State of Louisiana afterdecennial censuses; conducting precinct management work for Louisiana parishgovernments; working on school desegregation cases in Louisiana; and conductingsite-location analyses in Louisiana. Tr., Vol. II, 257:9-22; Doc. 182-8. Mr. HefnerPage 28 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 29 of 135 PageID #:4919testified that he came to the following conclusions during his analysis for this case:(1) given the geographic distribution and concentration of the Black population inLouisiana, it is impossible to create a second majority-minority district and stilladhere to traditional redistricting criteria, Tr., Vol. II, 271:11-22, 282:21-283:6; and(2) race predominated in the drafting of SB8. Id. at 271:23; 272:1-14.Mr. Hefner explained that the Black population in Louisiana is highlydispersed across the State and is concentrated in specific urban areas, including NewOrleans, Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Lafayette, and Shreveport.6 Tr., Vol. II, 281:7-15;283:19-285:1; 339:20-340:4 (Hefner); see also Mr. Hefner's Heat Map, [Docs. 182-9,182-10]. Using a heat map he created based on data representing the Black votingage population (“BVAP”) across the State from the 2020 census, Mr. Hefner testifiedthat outside the New Orleans and East Baton Rouge areas, the Black population ishighly dispersed across the state. Tr., Vol. II, 281:4-15. Mr. Hefner opined that, giventhis dispersion, it is impossible to draw a second majority-minority congressionaldistrict without violating traditional redistricting criteria. Id. at 282:22-283:6.Focusing on SB8, Mr. Hefner testified that SB8 is drawn to trace the areas ofthe state with a high BVAP to create a second majority-minority district, Tr., Vol. II,283:15-285:1, echoing the testimony of Dr. Voss. Specifically, Mr. Hefner stated thatDistrict 6's borders include the concentrated Black populations in East Baton Rouge,Alexandria, Opelousas, Natchitoches, Mansfield, Stonewall, and up to Shreveport, Id.6According to Mr. Hefner, the highest concentration of African American voters is inNew Orleans; the second highest concentration is in East Baton Rouge; and the third highestconcentration is in Shreveport. Tr., Vol. II, 281:4-15.Page 29 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 30 of 135 PageID #:4920at 283:15-285:1, but carved concentrated precincts out of the remainder of theparishes to avoid picking up too much population of non-Black voters. Id. at 283:15-285:1. Taking Lafayette Parish as an example, Mr. Hefner testified that District 6includes the northeast part of the parish, where voting precincts contain a majorityof Black voters, while excluding the remainder of the parish, in which the precinctsare not inhabited by predominantly Black voters. Id. at 283:22-284:4. Likewise, inRapides Parish, District 6 splits Rapides Parish to include only the precincts in whichthere is a high concentration of Black voters, for the purpose of including the overallBVAP in the district. Id. at 284:4-8.Mr. Hefner also testified that SB8's compactness score is extremely small. Infact, it is so low on the Polsby-Popper and Reock metrics that it is almost not compactat all. Id. at 302:21-303:2; PE21. Explaining that District 6 is extremely long andextremely strung out, Tr., Vol. II, 303:18-20, Mr. Hefner testified that SB8 scoredlower than HB1 on both the Polsby-Popper and Reock tests. Id. at 302:16-303:25;PE21. Mr. Hefner testified that District 6 is not reasonably compact, Tr., Vol. II,304:11-14; its shape is awkward and bizarre, Id. at 304:23-305:6; it is extremelynarrow at points, Id. at 305:18-306:2; its contiguity is tenuous, Id. at 293:23-24; andit splits many parishes and municipalities, including four of the largest parishes inthe State (Caddo, Rapides, Lafayette, and East Baton Rouge), each of which arecommunities of interest. Id. at 295:7-8. Finally, Mr. Hefner testified that thePlaintiffs' redistricting plan, introduced as Illustrative Plan 1, was a reasonable plan7The Polsby-Popper scale goes from 0 (no compactness) to 1 (total compactness). Mr.Hefner testified that District 6 had a Polsby-Popper score of 0.05. Id., 303:13-20.Page 30 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 31 of 135 PageID #:4921that can be drawn in a race-neutral manner; adheres to the use of traditionalredistricting principles; preserves more communities of interest; provides morecompact election districts; preserves the core election districts; and balances thepopulation within each district. Id. at 272:17-25; 273:1-2.a. Anthony FairfaxMr. Anthony Fairfax testified on behalf of the Robinson Intervenors to rebutthe testimony of Mr. Hefner, and was qualified by the Court as an expert inredistricting and demography. Tr., Vol. II, 379:6-15. Contradicting Mr. Hefner, Mr.Fairfax testified that traditional redistricting principles could be used to create mapswith a second majority-Black district. Id. at 381-383:24. But on rebuttal, Mr. Fairfaxadmitted that the map he used did not account for where people lived within parishes,and his map therefore failed to take account of where Black voters are located in eachparish. Id. at 407:4-125; 408:1-12. Therefore, on the issue of parish splitting, Mr.Fairfax's testimony was unpersuasive. Rather, as Mr. Hefner testified, Fairfax'sanalysis fails to show the Court whether District 6 specifically targeted those pocketsof high populations of Black voters. Id. at 292:13-293:3. Tellingly, in discussingpreservation of communities of interests, parishes, and municipalities, Mr. Fairfaxagreed with Mr. Hefner that SB8 split more parishes and municipalities than HB1,Id. at 385:14-18; 389:5-9, and that SB8 split more parishes and municipalities thanthe previously enacted plan. Id. at 385:11-15; 389:2-9.Page 31 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 32 of 135 PageID #:4922III.APPLICABLE LAWTo obtain permanent injunctive relief, the plaintiffs must establish by apreponderance of the evidence: “(1) actual success on the merits; (2) that it is likelyto suffer irreparable harm in the absence of injunctive relief; (3) that the balance ofequities tip in that party's favor; and (4) that an injunction is in the public interest.”8Crown Castle Fiber, L.L.C. v. City of Pasadena, Texas, 76 F.4th 425, 441 (5th Cir.2023), cert. denied, 144 S. Ct. 820 (2024); see also Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council,Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20, 32, 129 S. Ct. 365, 172 L.Ed.2d 249 (2008).The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides that:"[N]o state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection ofthe laws." U.S. CONST. AMEND. XIV, § 1. The intent of the provision is “to preventthe States from purposefully discriminating between individuals on the basis of race."Shaw v. Reno, 509 U.S. 630, 642, 113 S. Ct. 2816, 2824, 125 L.Ed.2d 511 (1993)("Shaw P'). As applied to redistricting, the Equal Protection Clause bars “a State,without sufficient justification, from ‘separat[ing] its citizens into different votingdistricts on the basis of race." Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Bd. of Elections, 580U.S. 178, 187, 137 S. Ct. 788, 797, 197 L.Ed.2d 85 (2017) (citing Miller v. Johnson,515 U.S. 900, 911, 115 S. Ct. 2475, 132 L.Ed.2d 762 (1995)). Thus, the EqualProtection Clause prohibits the creation and implementation of districting plans thatinclude racial gerrymanders, with few exceptions. “A racial gerrymander [is] the8The Court consolidated the preliminary injunction hearing with the full trial on themerits. See [Doc. 63].Page 32 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 33 of 135 PageID #:4923deliberate and arbitrary distortion of district boundariesfor [racial] purposes.”Shaw I, 509 U.S. at 640 (citing Davis v. Bandemer, 478 U.S. 109, 164, 106 S. Ct. 2797,2826, 92 L.Ed.2d 85 (1986) (Powell, J. concurring in part and dissenting in part),abrogated on other grounds by Rucho v. Common Cause, 588 U.S. 684, 139 S. Ct.2484, 204 L.Ed.2d 931 (2019)). Courts analyze racial gerrymandering challengesunder a two-part burden-shifting framework.First, a plaintiff bears the burden to prove that “race was the predominantfactor motivating the legislature's decision to place a significant number of voterswithin or without a particular district." Miller, 515 U.S. at 916. This requires aplaintiff to show that "the legislature 'subordinated' other factors - compactness,respect for political subdivisions, partisan advantage, what have you to 'racialconsiderations."" Cooper v. Harris, 581 U.S. 285, 291, 137 S. Ct. 1455, 1464, 197L.Ed.2d 837 (2017) (citing Miller, 515 U.S. at 916). The plaintiff may make therequisite showing “either through circ*mstantial evidence of a district's shape anddemographics or more direct evidence going to legislative purpose, that race was thepredominant factor motivating the legislature's decision...." Alabama LegislativeBlack Caucus v. Alabama, 575 U.S. 254, 267, 135 S. Ct. 1257, 1267, 191 L.Ed.2d 314(2015) (citing Miller, 515 U.S. at 916).If Plaintiff meets the burden of showing race played the predominant factor inthe design of a district, the district must then survive strict scrutiny. Cooper, 581U.S. at 292. At this point, the burden of proof “shifts to the State to prove that itsrace-based sorting of voters serves a 'compelling interest' and is 'narrowly tailored' tothat end." Cooper, 581 U.S. at 285 (citing Bethune-Hill, 580 U.S. at 193). "RacialPage 33 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 34 of 135 PageID #:4924gerrymandering, even for remedial purposes" is still subject to strict scrutiny. ShawI, 509 U.S. at 657. Where the state seeks to draw a congressional district by race forremedial purposes under Section 2, the state must have a “strong basis in evidence"for "finding that the threshold conditions for section 2 liability are present" underGingles. And, to survive strict scrutiny, “the district drawn in order to satisfy § 2must not subordinate traditional districting principles to race substantially morethan is 'reasonably necessary' to avoid § 2 liability.” Bush v. Vera, 517 U.S. 952, 979,116 S. Ct. 1941, 1961, 135 L.Ed.2d 248 (1996).A.IV.FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAWRacial PredominanceThe Court first addresses whether Plaintiffs have met their burden of showingthat race predominated in drawing District 6. Racial awareness in redistricting doesnot necessarily mean that race predominated in the Legislature's decision to create asecond majority-minority district. Shaw I, 509 U.S. at 646. When redistricting, alegislature may be aware of race when it draws district lines, just as it is aware ofother demographic information such as age, economic status, religion, and politicalaffiliation. Shaw I, 509 U.S. at 646. Race consciousness, on its own, does not makea district an unconstitutional racial gerrymander or an act of impermissible racediscrimination. Id. But while districts may be drawn for remedial purposes, Section2 of the Voting Rights “never require[s] adoption of districts that violate traditionalredistricting principles.” Allen v. Milligan, 599 U.S. 1, 29 – 30, 143 S. Ct. 1487, 1492,216 L.Ed.2d 60 (2023) (internal citations omitted). Indeed, to survive strict scrutiny,Page 34 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 35 of 135 PageID #:4925“the district drawn in order to satisfy § 2 must not subordinate traditional districtingprinciples to race substantially more than is ‘reasonably necessary' to avoid § 2liability." Vera, 517 U.S. at 979. As discussed above, racial predominance may beshown through either circ*mstantial evidence, direct evidence, or both. Ala. Legis.Black Caucus, 135 S. Ct. at 1267.Here, the Robinson Intervenors and the State argue that politicalconsiderations predominated in drawing the boundaries of District 6. They arguethat the State had to create a second majority-minority district based on the districtcourt's ruling in the Robinson litigation and that District 6 was drawn with theprimary purpose of protecting key Republican incumbents, such as Speaker MikeJohnson, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, and Representative Julia Letlow. It is clearfrom the record and undisputed that political considerationsincumbents — played a role in how District 6 was drawn. Plaintiffs, however, contendthat considerations of race played a qualitatively greater role in how the State drewthe contours of District 6 than these political considerations.1.Circ*mstantial Evidence-the protection ofIn the redistricting realm, appearances matter. A district's shape can providecirc*mstantial evidence of a racial gerrymander. Shaw I, 509 U.S. at 647. In thepast, the Supreme Court has relied on irregular district shapes and demographic datato find racial gerrymandering.9 See Shaw v. Hunt, 517 U.S. 899, 910-16 (1996)("Shaw II"); Miller, 515 U.S. 900; Vera, 517 U.S. 952.9Significantly, "[s]hape is relevant not because bizarreness is a necessary element ofthe constitutional wrong or a threshold requirement of proof, but because it may bePage 35 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 36 of 135 PageID #:4926"Here, as described by Dr. Voss, District 6 'slashes' across the state ofLouisiana” and includes portions of four disparate metropolitan areas. But – criticalto our analysis District 6 only encompasses the parts of those cities that areinhabited by majority-Black voting populations, while excluding neighboring non-minority voting populations. Tr., Vol. I, 93:25; 94:1-5; 94:18-95:10; 96:7-16; PE3; PE4.His description encapsulates what the following maps show on their face:Act 2 - 1st ES (2024) - Congressional Districts - East Baton RougePrecincts as of 01-10-2024Baton Rouge Close Up of 2024 Enacted Map (JE17).persuasive circ*mstantial evidence that race for its own sake, and not other districtingprinciples, was the legislature's dominant and controlling rationale in drawing its districtlines." Miller, 515 U.S. at 912-913; See Shaw v. Hunt, 861 F. Supp. 408, 431 (E.D.N.C. 1994);Hays I; but see DeWitt v. Wilson, 856 F. Supp. 1409, 1413 (E.D. Cal. 1994). Thus, a district'sbizarre shape is not the only type of circ*mstantial evidence on which parties may rely. Id.Page 36 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 37 of 135 PageID #:4927T++-Act 2 - 1st ES (2024) - Congressional Districts - LafayetteO-6#10Lafayette Close Up of 2024 Enacted Map (JE17).Precincts as of 01-10-2024Act 2 - 1st ES (2024) - Congressional Districts - RapidesPrecincts as of 01-10-2024Alexandria Close Up of 2024 Enacted Map (JE17).Page 37 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 38 of 135 PageID #:4928Act 2 - 1st ES (2024) - Congressional Districts - Caddo✓Precincts as of 01-10-2024Shreveport Close Up of 2024 Enacted Map (JE17).Like Shaw II and Vera, this case presents evidence of “mixed motives" increating District 6―motives based on race and political considerations. Unlike asingle motive case, any circ*mstantial evidence tending to show neglect of traditionaldistricting principles, such as compactness and respect for parish lines, causedDistrict 6's bizarre shape could seemingly arise from a “political motivation as wellas a racial one.” Cooper v. Harris, 581 U.S. at 308 (citing Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S.541, 547 n.3, 119 S. Ct. 1545, 1549, 143 L.Ed.2d 731 (1999)). In mixed motive casessuch as this one, the Supreme Court has noted that “political and racial reasons arecapable of yielding similar oddities in a district's boundaries." Id. Accordingly, thisCourt faces “a formidable task: It must make ‘a sensitive inquiry' into all‘circ*mstantial and direct evidence of intent' to assess whether the plaintiffs havePage 38 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 39 of 135 PageID #:4929managed to disentangle race from politics and prove that the former drove a district'slines." Id.Turning to the record, Mr. Hefner's “heat map” is particularly helpful ascirc*mstantial evidence of the motives driving the decisions as to where to draw theboundaries of District 6. The “heat map” shows that outside of the New Orleans andEast Baton Rouge areas, the state's Black population is highly dispersed across thestate. Tr., Vol. II 281:4-15. Mr. Hefner opined that District 6 was designed as suchto collect these highly dispersed BVAP areas in order to create a second majority-minority district. Id., 283:15-285:1.Map 15-SB 8 Plan with African American PopulationsPE 16.wanstorBrotior LAMorahouse LaClalbome LAUnion LAWest Carro LAEat CarLincoln LAOutor in LARICHIED LAMadson LABienville LAJackson LARed River LADe SotoSabine LAWIR LACaldwell LAFrankle LATansas LACatahoula LALasane LAGrant LARapidasvemon LAAvoyotesBrand L4M LAEppards LA6si fallar L(5)evangana LaALAJon DaviCairasu LASt Martin LAR22 Rohe LA3Camaron LAvoiton LASt. Mary LAPage 39 of 60pngpanca LAWashington La$ Taramany LAin LASt. Jean he Boptet LASt James (4Oriesca LaAssumptionChorios LATamabeans LALafourche LA

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 40 of 135 PageID #:4930When Mr. Hefner's heat map is superimposed on SB8, the "story of racialgerrymandering" becomes evident. See Miller, 515 U.S. at 917 (“... when [thedistrict's] shape is considered in conjunction with its racial and population densities,the story of racial gerrymandering ... becomes much clearer”). That exhibit showsthat District 6 sweeps across the state to include the heavily concentrated Blackpopulation neighborhoods in East. Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Opelousas,Natchitoches, and Mansfield. Most telling, District 6 juts up at its northern end tocarve out the Black neighborhoods of Shreveport and separates those neighborhoodsfrom the majority white neighborhoods of Shreveport and Bossier City ("Shreveport-Bossier"). Tr., Vol. II, 283:15-285:1.Map 21-Shreveport Area in Caddo ParishGreenwood4Dainhard6Shin-reportCand LAStonewolfDeSoto LAPE 18.SCOR CALIFORPage 40 of 60Reity liteEastwoodHoughtonHower CityBossier LADoylingWebster LABienville LAFryerson%18 AP BIK0% to 40%40% to 50%50% to 60%61% to 100%Other10,000 20,000 30,000Feet

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 41 of 135 PageID #:4931District 6 also dips down from its northwest trajectory and splits the majorityof Black neighborhoods of Lafayette from the rest of the city and parish. Specifically,District 6 includes Lafayette's northeast neighborhoods, which contain apredominantly Black population, while leaving the rest of the city and parish inneighboring District 3. Id. at 283:22-284:4. In sum, the “heat maps" and demographicdata in evidence tell the true story – that race was the predominate factor drivingdecisions made by the State in drawing the contours of District 6. This evidenceshows that the unusual shape of the district reflects an effort to incorporate as muchof the dispersed Black population as was necessary to create a majority-Black district.2.Direct Evidence-The Court next looks to the direct evidence of the Legislature's motive increating District 6 in other words, what was actually said by the individuals whohad a hand in promulgating, drafting, and voting on SB8. The direct evidencebuttresses the Court's conclusion that race was the predominant factor the legislatorsrelied upon in drawing District 6.The record includes audio and video recordings, as well as transcripts, ofstatements made by key political figures such as the Governor of Louisiana, theLouisiana Attorney General, and Louisiana legislators, all of whom expressed thatthe primary purpose guiding SB8 was to create a second majority-Black district dueto the Robinson litigation. As discussed supra, the Middle District, after thepreliminary injunction hearing in Robinson, found a likelihood of success on themerits of the Robinson Plaintiffs' claim that a second majority-minority district wasrequired by Section 2 of the Voting Rights. Although the preliminary injunction wasPage 41 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 42 of 135 PageID #:4932vacated by the Fifth Circuit to allow the Legislature to enact a new map, legislatorschose to draw a map with a second majority-Black district in order to avoid a trial onthe merits in the Robinson litigation. See, e.g., Tr. Vol. III, 588:11-17 (“Judge Dickhas put us in a position and the Fifth Circuit, the panel that reviewed that decision,and the whole court, when I asked them to go en banc, by declining to go on en banc,have put us in a position pus [sic] of where we are today where we need to draw amap."); JE28, 46:5-101 (same); see also Tr. Vol. III, 589:1-3 ("The courts, never theless, have told us to draw a new map. And they have indicated that we have a deadlineto do that or Judge Dick will draw the map for us."); JE28 at 36:14-17 (same); JE36at 33 (Senator Price: “Regardless of what you heard, we are on a court order and weneed to move forward. We would not be here if we were not under a court order to-get this done."); JE36 at 1 (Senator Fields: “[B]oth the district and the appeals courthave said we need to do something before the next congressional elections.”); JE31,26:12-24 (Chairman Beaullieu: “Senator Womack, why are we here today? Whatwhat brought us all to this special session as it as it relates to, you know, what we'rediscussing here today?”; Senator Womack: “The middle courts of the district courtsbrought us here from the Middle District, and said, ‘Draw a map, or I'll draw a map.’Chairman Beaullieu: “Okay."%; Senator Womack: "So that's what we've done.";Chairman Beaullieu: “And - and were you - does - does this map achieve that middlecourt's orders?"; Senator Womack: “It does."); PE41, 75:24-76:2 (RepresentativeLyons, Chairman of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee, stating “[T]hemission we have here is that we have to create two majority-Black districts."); PE41,121:19-22 (Senator Womack stating that “... we all know why we're here. We werePage 42 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 43 of 135 PageID #:4933ordered draw a new Black district, and that's what I've done."); PE41, 9:3-8(Representative Amedee: "Is this bill intended to create another black district?"Representative Beaullieu: “Yes, ma'am, and to comply with the judge's order."); JE31,97:17-19, 21-24 (Representative Carlson: “the overarching argument that I've heardfrom nearly everyone over the last four days has been race first race seems to be,at least based on the conversations, the driving force...."). SB 8's sponsor, SenatorWomack, also explicitly admitted that creating two majority-Black districts was "thereason why District 2 is drawn around the Orleans Parish and why District 6 includesthe Black population of East Baton Rouge Parish and travels up the I-49 corridor toinclude Black population in Shreveport." PE41 at 26.The Court also acknowledges that the record includes evidence that race-neutral considerations factored into the Legislature's decisions, such as the protectionof incumbent representatives. See JE29 at 2-3 (Senator Womack discussing that SB8protects Congresswoman Julia Letlow, U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, andU.S. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise); Tr. Vol. I, 71:11-18, 79:1-4 (SenatorPressley testifying that “[w]e certainly wanted to protect Speaker Johnson ... Wewanted to make sure that we protected Steve Scalise. Julia Letlow is onAppropriations. That was also very important that we try to keep her seat as well.");Id. at 60:8-61:15 (Senator Seabaugh testifying that the fact that the Speaker andMajority Leader are from Louisiana is “kind of a big deal” and that protecting SpeakerPage 43 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 44 of 135 PageID #:4934Johnson, Majority Leader Scalise, and Representative Letlow was “an importantconsideration when drawing a congressional map.”). 10However, considering the circ*mstantial and the direct evidence of motive inthe creation of District 6, the Court finds that “racially motivated gerrymanderinghad a qualitatively greater influence on the drawing of the district lines thanpolitically motivated gerrymandering.” Vera, 517 U.S. at 953. As in Shaw II andVera, the State first made the decision to create a majority-Black district and, onlythen, did political considerations factor into the State's creation of District 6. Thepredominate role of race in the State's decisions is reflected in the statements oflegislative decision-makers, the division of cities and parishes along racial lines, theunusual shape of the district, and the evidence that the contours of the district weredrawn to absorb sufficient numbers of Black-majority neighborhoods to achieve thegoal of a functioning majority-Black district. If the State's primary goal was to protectcongressional incumbents, the evidence in the record does not show that District 6 inits current form was the only way to achieve that objective. As explained by theSupreme Court:10 At bottom, it is not credible that Louisiana's majority-Republican Legislature wouldchoose to draw a map that eliminated a Republican-performing district for predominantlypolitical purposes. The Defendants highlight the purported animosity between GovernorJeff Landry and Representative Garrett Graves to support their contention that politicalconsiderations served as the predominant motivating factor behind SB8. However, giventhe slim majority Republicans hold in the United States House of Representatives, even ifsuch personal or intra-party animosity did or does exist, it is difficult to fathom thatLouisiana Republicans would intentionally concede a seat to a Democratic candidate onthose bases. Rather, the Court finds that District 6 was drawn primarily to create a secondmajority-Black district that they predicted would be ordered in the Robinson litigation aftera trial on the merits. Thus, it is clear that race was the driving force and predominantfactor behind the creation of District 6.Page 44 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 45 of 135 PageID #:4935One, often highly persuasive way to disprove a States contention thatpolitics drove a district's lines is to show that the legislature had thecapacity to accomplish all its partisan goals without moving so manymembers of a minority group into the district. If you were really sortingby political behavior instead of skin color (so the argument goes) youwould have done - or, at least, could just as well have done - this. Suchwould-have, could-have, and (to round out the set) should-havearguments are a familiar means of undermining a claim that an actionwas based on a permissible, rather than a prohibited, ground.Cooper, 581 U.S. at 317. In the present case, the record reflects that the State couldhave achieved its political goals in ways other than by carving up and sorting by racethe citizens of Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria, and Shreveport. Put another way,the Legislature's decision to increase the BVAP of District 6 to over 50 percent wasnot required to protect incumbents and supports the Plaintiffs' contention that racewas the predominate factor in drawing the district's boundaries. In sum, Plaintiffshave met their initial burden, and the burden now shifts to the State to prove thatDistrict 6 survives strict scrutiny.B.Strict ScrutinyWhen a Plaintiff succeeds in proving racial predominance, the burden shifts tothe State to "demonstrate that its districting legislation [was] narrowly tailored toachieve a compelling interest." Bethune-Hill, 580 U.S. at 193 (citing Miller, 515 920).1. Compelling State InterestThe State argues that compliance with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is acompelling state interest. The Supreme Court has repeatedly assumed withoutdeciding that compliance with the Voting Rights Act is a compelling interest. SeeShaw II, 517 U.S. at 915; Cooper, 581 U.S. at 292; Bethune-Hill, 580 U.S. at 193. ToPage 45 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 46 of 135 PageID #:4936show that the districting legislation satisfies the "narrow tailoring” requirement “thestate must establish that it had 'good reasons' to think that it would transgress theact if it did not draw race-based district lines." This “strong basis (or 'good reasons')standard” provides “breathing room” to the State “to adopt reasonable compliancemeasures that may prove, in perfect hindsight not to have been needed.” Cooper, 581U.S. at 293 (quoting Bethune-Hill, 581 U.S. at 293) (emphasis added). Moreover, theSupreme Court has often remarked that “redistricting is primarily the duty andresponsibility of the State,” not of the courts. Abbott v. Perez, 585 U.S. 579, 603, 138S. Ct. 2305, 2324, 201 L.Ed.2d 714 (2018) (citing Miller, 515 U.S. at 915).Turning to the present case, the State argues that it had a “strong basis” inevidence to believe that the district court for the Middle District was likely, after atrial on the merits in Robinson, to rule that Louisiana's congressional map violatedSection 2 of the Voting Rights Act and order the creation of a second majority-Blackdistrict. See Robinson Appeal Ruling at 583 (vacating the district court's preliminaryinjunction and granting the Legislature the opportunity to draw a new map insteadof advancing to a trial on the merits of HB1); See also Robinson Docket, [Doc. 315]("If the Defendant/Intervenors fail to produce a new enacted map on or before[January 30, 2024], this matter will proceed to a trial on the merits on [February 5,2024], which shall continue daily until complete"); see, e.g., JE36 at 4 (Senator Price:"We all know that we've been ordered by the court that we draw congressionaldistricts with two minority districts. This map will comply with the order of both theFifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the district court. They have said that theLegislature must pass a map that has two majority black districts."); JE33, 5:1-7Page 46 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 47 of 135 PageID #:4937(Representative Beaullieu: "As Senator Stine said earlier in this week, ‘It's with aheavy heart that I present to you this other map,' but we have to. It's that clear. Afederal judge has ordered us to draw an additional minority seat in the State ofLouisiana."); JE34, 11:3–7 (Senator Carter: “[W]e came together in an effort to complywith a federal judge's order that Louisiana provide equal representation to theAfrican Americans in the State of Louisiana, and we have an opportunity to do that.");JE36 at 18 (Representative Marcelle: “Let's not let Judge Dick have to do what ourjob is, which is to create a second minority-majority district."); JE30, 20:22-21:4(Senator Duplessis: "It's about a federal law called the Voting Rights Act that has notbeen interpreted just by one judge in the Middle District of Louisiana who wasappointed by former president Barack Obama, but also a U.S. Fifth Circuit Court ofAppeals that's made up of judges that were appointed by predominantly Republicanpresidents, and a United States Supreme Court that has already made rulings."); Tr.Vol. I, 47:22-48:1 (Senator Seabaugh: "Well, the – really, the only reason we werethere was because of the other litigation; and Judge Dick saying that she - if we didn'tdraw the second minority district, she was going to. I think that's the only reason wewere there."); Tr. Vol. I, 69:24-70:4 (Senator Pressly: "We were told that we had tohave two performing African American districts. And that we were that that was―the main tenet that we needed to look at and ensure that we were able to draw thecourt - draw the maps; otherwise, the Court was going to draw the maps for us").The Court assumes, without deciding, that compliance with Section 2 was acompelling interest for the State to attempt to create a second majority-Black districtin the present case. However, even assuming that the Voting Rights Act is aPage 47 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 48 of 135 PageID #:4938compelling state interest in this case, that compelling interest does not support thecreation of a district that does not comply with the factors set forth in Gingles ortraditional districting principles. See e.g., Shaw II, 517 U.S. at 915 ("We assume,arguendo, for the purpose of resolving this suit, that compliance with Section 2 couldbe a compelling interest" but hold that the remedy is not narrowly tailored to theasserted end); Vera, 517 U.S. at 977 (plurality opinion) (“[W]e assume withoutdeciding that compliance with [the Voting Rights Act], as interpreted by ourprecedents, can be a compelling state interest” but hold that the districts at issue arenot "narrowly tailored" to achieve that interest (citation omitted)); Ala. Legis. BlackCaucus, 575 U.S. at 279 (“[W]e do not here decide whether ... continued compliancewith § 5 [of the Voting Rights Act] remains a compelling interest" because "weconclude that the District Court and the legislature asked the wrong question withrespect to narrow tailoring.”).Indeed, the Supreme Court has made clear that, in the context of aconstitutional challenge to a districting scheme, “unless each of the three Ginglesprerequisites is established,“ ‘there neither has been a wrong nor can be a remedy"and the districting scheme does not pass muster under strict scrutiny. Cooper v.Harris, 581 U.S. at 306 (quoting Growe v. Emison, 507 U.S. 25, 41, 113 S. Ct. 1075,1084, 122 L.Ed.2d 388 (1993)). With respect to traditional districting requirements,the Supreme Court has consistently warned that, "§ 2 never require[s] adoption ofdistricts that violate traditional redistricting principles. Its exacting requirements,instead, limit judicial intervention to 'those instances of intensive racial politics'where the 'excessive role [of race] in the electoral process ... den[ies] minority votersPage 48 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 49 of 135 PageID #:4939equal opportunity to participate."" Allen v. Milligan, 599 U.S. at 29–30 (internalcitations omitted). 11 Accordingly, whether District 6, as drawn, is “narrowly tailored"requires the Court to address the Gingles factors as well as traditional districtingcriteria.a.Consideration of the Gingles FactorsThe Supreme Court in Gingles set out how courts must evaluate claimsalleging a Section 2 violation of the Voting Rights Act. Gingles involved a challengeto North Carolina's districting scheme, which purportedly diluted the vote of its Blackcitizens. Gingles, 478 U.S. at 34–36.Gingles emphasized precisely what Section 2 guards against. “The essence ofa § 2 claim," the Court explained, “is that a certain electoral law, practice, or structureinteracts with social and historical conditions to cause an inequality in theopportunities enjoyed by black and white voters.” Id. at 47. This inequality occurswhere an "electoral structure operates to minimize or cancel out” minority voters'“ability to elect their preferred candidates." Id. at 48. This risk is greatest “whereminority and majority voters consistently prefer different candidates” and whereminority voters are submerged in a majority voting population that “regularlydefeat[s]" their choices. Ibid.11The concern that Section 2 may impermissibly elevate race in the allocation of politicalpower within the states is, of course, not new. See, e.g., Shaw I, 509 U.S. at 657 ("Racialgerrymandering, even for remedial purposes, may balkanize us into competing racialfactions; it threatens to carry us further from the goal of a political system in which race nolonger matters."); Allen v. Milligan, 599 U.S. at 41-42. To ensure that Gingles does notimproperly morph into a proportionality mandate, courts must rigorously apply the"geographically compact” and “reasonably configured” requirements. Id. at 44 (Kavanaughconcurrence, n. 2).Page 49 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 50 of 135 PageID #:4940But Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act explicitly states that, “nothing in thissection establishes a right to have members of a protected class elected in numbersequal to their proportion in the population.” 52 U.S.C. § 10301. And the SupremeCourt has repeatedly admonished that Gingles does not mandate a proportionalnumber of majority-minority districts. Indeed, “[i]f Gingles demanded a proportionalnumber of majority-minority districts, States would be forced to group togethergeographically dispersed minority voters into unusually shaped districts, withoutconcern for traditional districting criteria such as county, city, and town lines. ButGingles and this Court's later decisions have flatly rejected that approach.” Allen v.Milligan, 599 U.S. at 43–44 (Kavanaugh concurring) (citing Abbott, 585 U.S. at 615;Vera, 517 U.S. at 979; Gingles, 478 U.S. at 50; Miller, 515 U.S. at 917–920; and ShawI, 509 U.S. at 644–649).Instead, Gingles requires the creation of a majority-minority district onlywhen, among other things: (i) a State's redistricting map cracks or packs a large and"geographically compact" minority population and (ii) a plaintiff's proposedalternative map and proposed majority-minority district are “reasonably configured"– namely, by respecting compactness principles and other traditional districtingcriteria such as county, city, and town lines. Allen v. Milligan, 599 U.S. at 43(Kavanaugh concurring) (citing Cooper, 581 U.S. at 301–302; Voinovich v. Quilter,507 U.S. 146, 153–154, 113 S. Ct. 1149, 122 L.Ed.2d 500 (1993)).In order to succeed in proving a Section 2 violation under Gingles, Plaintiffsmust satisfy three specific "preconditions." Gingles, 478 U.S. at 50. First, the“minority group must be sufficiently large and [geographically] compact to constitutePage 50 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 51 of 135 PageID #:4941a majority in a reasonably configured district.” Wisconsin Legislature v. WisconsinElections Comm'n, 595 U.S. 398, 402, 142 S. Ct. 1245, 1248, 212 L.Ed.2d 251 (2022)(per curiam) (citing Gingles, 478 U.S. at 46–51). Case law explains that a district willbe reasonably configured if it comports with traditional districting criteria, such asbeing contiguous and reasonably compact. See Ala. Legis. Black Caucus, 575 U.S. at272. “Second, the minority group must be able to show that it is politically cohesive."Gingles, 478 U.S. at 51. Third, “the minority must be able to demonstrate that the...white majority votes sufficiently as a bloc to enable it to defeat the minority'spreferred candidate." Ibid. Finally, a plaintiff who demonstrates the threepreconditions must also show, under the "totality of circ*mstances,” that the politicalprocess is not “equally open” to minority voters. Id. at 38-38 and 45-46 (identifyingseveral factors relevant to the totality of circ*mstances inquiry, including "the extentof any history of official discrimination in the state ... that touched the right of themembers of the minority group to register, to vote, or otherwise to participate in thedemocratic process.").Each of the three Gingles preconditions serves a different purpose. The first,which focused on geographical compactness and numerosity, is “needed to establishthat the minority has the potential to elect a representative of its own choice in some[reasonably configured] single-member district.” Growe, 507 U.S. at 40. The second,which concerns the political cohesiveness of the minority group, shows that arepresentative of its choice would in fact be elected. Ibid. The third precondition,which focuses on racially polarized voting, “establish[es] that the challengeddistricting thwarts a distinctive minority vote" at least plausibly on account of race.Page 51 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 52 of 135 PageID #:4942Ibid. Finally, the totality of circ*mstances inquiry recognizes that application of theGingles factors is “peculiarly dependent upon the facts of each case." 478 U.S. at 79.Before a court can find a violation of Section 2, therefore, they must conduct "anintensely local appraisal" of the electoral mechanism at issue, as well as “searchingpractical evaluation of the ‘past and present reality.”” Ibid.In the present case, the State simply has not met its burden of showing thatDistrict 6 satisfies the first Gingles factor – that the “minority group [is] sufficientlylarge and [geographically] compact to constitute a majority in a reasonably configureddistrict." The record reflects that, outside of southeast Louisiana, the State's Blackpopulation is dispersed. That required the State to draw District 6 as a “bizarre” 250-mile-long slash-shaped district that functions as a majority-minority district onlybecause it severs and absorbs majority-minority neighborhoods from cities andparishes all the way from Baton Rouge to Shreveport. As discussed below, this failsto comport with traditional districting principles.b.Traditional Districting PrinciplesThe first Gingles factor requires that a minority population be“[geographically] compact to constitute a majority in a reasonably configureddistrict." Allen v. Milligan, 599 U.S. at 18 (quoting Wisconsin, 595 U.S. at 402). Thisrequires consideration of traditional districting principles.Traditional districting principles consist of six criteria that arose from caselaw. The first three are geographic in nature and are as follows: (1) compactness, (2)contiguity, and (3) preservation of parishes and respect for political subdivisions.Shaw I, 509 U.S. at 647. The Supreme Court has emphasized that “these criteria arePage 52 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 53 of 135 PageID #:4943important not because they are constitutionally required – they are not, cf. Gaffney-v. Cummings, 412 U.S. 735, 752, n. 18, 93 S. Ct. 2321, 2331, n. 18, 37 L.Ed.2d 298(1973) – but because they are objective factors that may serve to defeat a claim thata district has been gerrymandered on racial lines.” Id. The other three includepreservation of communities of interest, preservation of cores of prior districts, andprotection of incumbents. See Miller, 515 U.S. at 916; Karcher v. Daggett, 462 U.S.725, 740 (1983)....shallJoint Rule 21 - enacted by the Legislature in 2021 – contains criteria that mustbe satisfied by any redistricting plan created by the Legislature, separate and apartfrom compliance with the Voting Rights Act and Equal Protection Clause. JE2. JointRule 21 states, relevantly, that “each district within a redistricting plancontain whole election precincts as those are represented as Voting Districts (VTDs)"and "[i]f a VTD must be divided, it shall be divided into as few districts as possible."Id. at (G)(1)-(2). Joint Rule 21 further requires the Legislature to “respect theestablished boundaries of parishes, municipalities, and other political subdivisionsand natural geography of this state to the extent practicable.” Id. at (H). However,this requirement does not take precedence over the preservation of communities ofinterest and "shall not be used to undermine the maintenance of communities ofinterest within the same district to the extent practicable.” Id.The Supreme Court case of Miller v. Johnson demonstrates how traditionaldistricting criteria applies to a racial gerrymandering claim. 515 U.S. at 910–911.There, the Supreme Court upheld a district court's finding that one of Georgia's tencongressional districts was the product of an impermissible racial gerrymander. Id.Page 53 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 54 of 135 PageID #:4944At the time, Georgia's BVAP was 27 percent, but there was only one majority-minority district. Id. at 906. To comply with the Voting Rights Act, Georgia'sgovernment thought it necessary to create two more majority-minority districtsthereby achieving proportionality. Id. at 920-921. But like North Carolina in ShawI, Georgia could not create the districts without flouting traditional criteria. Instead,the unconstitutional district "centered around four discrete, widely spaced urbancenters that ha[d] absolutely nothing to do with each other, and stretch[ed] thedistrict hundreds of miles across rural counties and narrow swamp corridors.” Miller,515 U.S. at 908. The Court called the district a geographic “monstrosity." Allen v.Milligan, 599 U.S. at 27-28 (citing Miller, 515 U.S. at 909).C.Communities of InterestPerhaps more than any other state of its size, the State of Louisiana isfortunate to have a rich cultural heritage, including diverse ethnicities, customs,economic drivers, types of agriculture, and religious affiliations. While the Court isnot bound by the decisions in the Hays litigation - made some thirty years ago andinvolving a different though similar map, and different Census numbers – much ofthe "local appraisal" analysis from Hays I remains relevant to an analysis of SB8.There, the Hays court concluded that the distinct and diverse economic interestsencapsulated in the challenged district, namelycotton and soybean plantations, centers of petrochemical production,urban manufacturing complexes, timberlands, sawmills and papermills, river barge depots, and rice and sugarcane fields are strungtogether to form the eclectic and incoherent industrial base of District 4.These diverse segments of the State economy have little in common.Indeed, their interests more often conflict than harmonize.Page 54 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 55 of 135 PageID #:4945Hays I, 839 F. Supp. at 1201. Though this was written 30 years ago, the same is truetoday. And like the predecessor districts drawn in Hays, it is readily apparent toanyone familiar with Louisiana history and culture that Congressional District 6 alsoviolates the traditional north-south ethno-religious division of the State.Along its circuitous route, this new district combines English-Scotch-Irish, mainline Protestants, traditional rural Black Protestants, SouthLouisiana Black Catholics, Continental French-Spanish-GermanRoman Catholics, sui generis Creoles, and thoroughly mixed polyglots,each from an historically discrete and distinctive region of Louisiana, asnever heretofore so extensively agglomerated.Id.Indeed as succinctly stated by the Hays court, the differences between NorthLouisiana, Baton Rouge, and Acadiana in term of culture, economic drivers, types ofa*griculture, and religious affiliations are pronounced. 12 This is so well known that12Among other strong cultural and ethnic groups divided by SB8, the French Acadian("Cajun") and Creole communities in Southwest Louisiana have a strong identity and ashared history of adversity. The Acadians, for their part, were expelled from Nova Scotia bythe British and Anglo-Americans during the French and Indian War, and some settled intothe southwestern parishes of Louisiana (“Acadiana"). See Carl A. Brasseaux, The Foundingof New Acadia: The Beginning of Acadian Life in Louisiana, 1765-1803 (Chapter 5)(Louisiana State University Press 1987). This historical event is well-known in Louisianaand referred to as Le Grand Dérangement. See William Faulker Rushton, The Cajuns FromAcadia to Louisiana (Farrar Straus Giroux 1979). The Acadian refugees made their homesin the foreign swamps and bayous of southern Louisiana and from there, built a rich andpersisting culture – marked by their distinct dialect of French, and their cuisine, music,folklore, and Catholic faith. See Brasseaux, The Founding of New Acadia.In 1921, Louisiana's Constitution eliminated any reference to the French languageand instead required only English to be taught, used, and spoken in Louisiana schools, whichdetrimentally affected the continuation of Cajun French. Roger K. Ward, The FrenchLanguage in Louisiana Law and Legal Education: A Requiem, 57 La. L. Rev. 1299 (1997)., after years of cultural suppression, the late 1960s/early 1970s witnessedcollective activism to revive Cajun French and culture in the area. Id. at 1299; see also Thankfully,Louisiana's 1974 Constitution safeguarded efforts by Cajun cultural groups to “ensure [their]preservation and proliferation." Id. at 1300. To this day, Acadiana celebrates itsPage 55 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 56 of 135 PageID #:4946any Louisiana politician seeking statewide office must first develop a strategy tobridge the regional cultural and religious differences in Louisiana. 13There is no doubt that District 6 divides some established communities ofinterest from one another while collecting parts of disparate communities of interestinto one voting district. Among other things, District 6 in SB8 splits six of the tenparishes that it touches. As the Court succinctly states in Hays, “there is no morefundamental unit of societal organization in the history of Louisiana than the parish.”Hays I, 839 F. Supp. at 1200.District 6 also divides the four largest cities and metropolitan areas in its pathalong clearly racial lines. Among these are three of the four largest cities in Louisiana―i.e., Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Shreveport. And the maps in the record are clearthat the division of these communities is based predominantly on the location ofmajority-Black voting precincts. Indeed, SB8, just like the congressional districts inHays I, "violates the boundaries of nearly all major municipalities in the State." HaysFrancophone ties with festivals such as Festival International de Louisiane, which featuresFrancophone musicians and artisans from around the world, and Festival Acadiens andCréoles, the largest Cajun and Creole festival in the world. Further, to preserve thelanguage, organizations such as CODOFIL support the preservation of the French languagein Louisiana, and on a smaller scale, many community members form “French tables” whereonly French is allowed to be spoken. The unique community of Acadiana, among many othersin Louisiana, with a deep connection and awareness of its past, certainly constitutes acommunity of interest. Race predominating, SB8 fails to take into account Louisiana'sdiverse cultural, religious, and social landscape in any meaningful way.13Attempting to bridge the north-south religious divide, one of Louisiana's most famouspoliticians, Huey Long, began his stump speech by claiming, that, “when I was a boy, I wouldget up at six o'clock in the morning on Sunday, and I would take my Catholic grandparentsto mass. I would bring them home, and at ten o'clock I would hitch the old horse up again,and I would take my Baptist parents to church." A colleague later said, “I didn't know youhad any Catholic grandparents.” To which he replied, “Don't be a damned fool. We didn'teven have a horse."Page 56 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 57 of 135 PageID #:4947I, 839 F. Supp. at 1201. The law is crystal clear on this point. As the Supreme Courtheld in Allen v. Milligan, it is unlawful to “concentrate [] a dispersed minoritypopulation in a single district by disregarding traditional districting principles suchas compactness, contiguity, and respect for political subdivisions,” reaffirming that“[a] reapportionment plan that includes in one district individuals who belong to thesame race, but who are otherwise separated by geographical and politicalboundaries," raises serious constitutional concerns. 599 U.S. at 27 (citing Shaw I,509 U.S. at 647). Based upon the foregoing, the Court finds that SB8's District 6 doesnot satisfy the "geographically compact" and "reasonably configured" Ginglesrequirement.d.Respect for PoliticalBoundariesSubdivisions and NaturalNor does SB8 take into account natural boundaries such as the AtchafalayaBasin, the Mississippi River, or the Red River. Just as in Miller, District 6 of SB8"centers around four discrete, widely spaced urban centers that have absolutelynothing to do with each other, and stretches the district hundreds of miles acrossrural counties and narrow swamp corridors.” 515 U.S. at 908; Allen v. Milligan, 599U.S. at 27-28 (citing Miller v. Johnson). Specifically, District 6's population centersaround the widely-spaced urban centers of Shreveport, Alexandria, Lafayette, andBaton Rouge - each of which is an independent metropolitan area – and are connectedto one another only by rural parishes having relatively low populations. Importantly,none of these four cities or the parishes in which they are located are, by themselves,large enough to require that they be divided to comply with the “one person, one vote"Page 57 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 58 of 135 PageID #:4948requirement of the Fourteenth Amendment. Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 566, 84S. Ct. 1362, 1384, 12 L.Ed.2d 506 (1964).e.Compactness-The record also includes statistical evidence showing that District 6 is not"compact" as required by traditional districting principles. Specifically, Dr. Vosstestified that, based on three measures of compactness (i) the Reock Score; (ii) thePolsby-Popper score; and (iii) the Know It When You See It ("KIWYSI") score thecurrent form of District 6 in SB8 performs worse than the districts in either HB1 (themap that was enacted in 2022) or the map that HB1 replaced from the previousdecade. Tr., Vol. I, 100:22-103:5; 104:25-105:4; PE7. Thus, SB8 does not producecompact maps when judged in comparison to other real-life congressional maps ofLouisiana. Tr., Vol. I, 107:16-21. Dr. Voss also opined that SB8's majority-Blackdistricts were especially non-compact compared to other plans that also included twomajority-minority districts. Id. at 106:17-24. According to Dr. Voss, SB8's District 6scored worse on the Polsby-Popper test than the second majority-Black districts inother proposed plans that created a second majority-Black district. Id. at 106:17-24.In sum, District 6 does not satisfy the first Gingles precondition nor does itcomply with traditional districting principles. Accordingly, SB8 and, morespecifically, District 6 cannot withstand strict scrutiny. That being said, while therecord is clear that Louisiana's Black population has become more dispersed andintegrated in the thirty years since the Hays litigation (and Louisiana now has onlysix rather than the seven Congressional districts it had at that time), this Court doesnot decide on the record before us whether it is feasible to create a second majority-Page 58 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 59 of 135 PageID #:4949Black district in Louisiana that would comply with the Equal Protection Clause ofthe Fourteenth Amendment. However, we do emphasize that Section 2 of the VotingRights Act never requires race to predominate in drawing Congressional districts atthe sacrifice of traditional districting principles. Allen v. Milligan, 599 U.S. at 29–30(internal citations omitted).V.REMEDIAL PHASEThe Court will hold a status conference to discuss the remedial stage of thistrial on May 6, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. CST.VI.CONCLUSIONAs our colleagues so elegantly stated in Hays II, the long struggle for civilrights and equal protection under the law that has taken place in Louisiana andthroughout our country, includes:countless towns across the South, at schools and lunch counters, at voterregistrar's offices. They stood there, black and white, certain in theknowledge that the Dream was coming; determined that no threat, nospittle, no blow, no gun, no noose, no law could separate us because ofthe color of our skin. To say now: "Separate!” “Divide!” “Segregate!” isto negate their sacrifice, mock their dream, deny that self-evident truththat all men are created equal and that no government may deny themthe equal protection of its laws.Hays II at 125. The Court agrees and finds that SB8 violates the Equal ProtectionClause as an impermissible racial gerrymander.In light of the foregoing, the Court GRANTS PLAINTIFFS' REQUEST FORINJUNCTIVE RELIEF. The State of Louisiana is prohibited from using SB8's map ofcongressional districts for any election.Page 59 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 60 of 135 PageID #:4950A status conference is hereby set on May 6, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. CST to discussthe remedial stage of this trial. Representatives for each party must attend.THUS, DONE AND SIGNED on this 30th day of April 2024.PatteauxROBERT R. SUMMERHAYSUNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGEWESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANAavid JosephDAVID C. JOSEPHUNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGEWESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANAPage 60 of 60

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 61 of 135 PageID #:4951Carl E. Stewart, Circuit Judge, dissenting:Contrary to my panel colleagues, I am not persuaded that Plaintiffshave met their burden of establishing that S.B. 8 is an unconstitutional racialgerrymander. The totality of the record demonstrates that the LouisianaLegislature weighed various political concerns—including protecting ofparticular incumbents—alongside race, with no factor predominating overthe other. The panel majority's determination that S.B. 8 is unconstitutionalis incredibly striking where, as here, Plaintiffs did not even attempt toaddress or disentangle the various political currents that motivated District6's lines in S.B. 8.1 While this inquiry should end at racial predominance, Iwould further hold that S.B. 8 satisfies strict scrutiny because the SupremeCourt has never imposed the aggressive incursion on state sovereignty thatthe panel majority advocates for here. Indeed, the panel majority'srequirements for permissible electoral map trades in the substantial"breathing room” afforded state legislatures in reapportionment for atightly wrapped straight-jacket. Therefore, I respectfully dissent.I. Factual BackgroundThe Supreme Court has undoubtedly recognized that in a "moreusual case," alleging racial gerrymandering, a trial court "can make realheadway by exploring the challenged district's conformity to traditionaldistricting principles, such as compactness and respect for county lines."1 Notably, none of the plaintiffs in this case demonstrated that S.B. 8 had adiscriminatory effect on them based on their race. None of them testified or otherwiseentered any evidence into the record of their racial identity, which conflicts with the well-recognized principle that actionable intentional discrimination must be against an"identifiable group." See Fusilier v. Landry, 963 F.3d 447, 463 (5th Cir. 2020). As an aside,nearly all of the plaintiffs in this case lack standing to allege this racial gerrymanderingclaim because they do not reside in District 6. See United States v. Hays, 515 U.S. 737,744-45 (1996).

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 62 of 135 PageID #:4952Cooper v. Harris, 581 U.S. 285, 308 (2017). Notably, the panel majority hasproceeded full steam ahead in this direction without proper regard for theatypical nature of this case and trial record. Because of this, the panelmajority has mis-stepped with regard to their approach, resulting innumerous errors and omissions in both their reasoning and holding.One such omission derives from the fact that none of the priorredistricting cases arrive from the same genesis as this one. This caseinvolves important distinctions, worth noting, that make it anything but a"usual" racial gerrymandering case. See Cooper, 581 U.S. at 308. First, theState has made no concessions to racial predominance. 2 Second, the Stateaffirmatively invokes a political motivation defense. 3 Third, the Stateconstructively points—not to a Justice Department demand letter as "astrong basis in evidence" but—to the findings of an Article III judge.4 Thepanel majority has failed to adequately grapple with each of these relevantfactors, I will address them herein.I start with the 2020 Census because understanding the setting isnecessary in deciding this nuanced and context-specific case. The SupremeCourt has said as much. It has held that the "historical background of thedecision is one evidentiary source, particularly if it reveals a series of official2 See Miller v. Johnson, 515 U.S. 900, 918 (1995) ("The court supported itsconclusion not just with the testimony . . . but also with the State's own concessions.").3 E.g., Cooper, 581 U.S. at 308 (2017) (citing Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 547n.3 (1999) ("Cromartie l'")) (emphasizing the importance of inquiries into asserted politicalor partisanship defenses since bizarrely shaped districts “can arise from a 'politicalmotivation' as well as a racial one").4 See Miller, 515 U.S. at 918 ("Hence the trial court had little difficulty concludingthat the Justice Department spent months demanding purely race-based revisions toGeorgia's redistricting plans, and that Georgia spent months attempting to comply.")(internal citation and quotation marks omitted).

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 63 of 135 PageID #:4953actions taken for invidious purposes. The specific sequence of eventsleading up to the challenged decision also may shed some light on thedecisionmaker's purposes." Village of Arlington Heights v. Metro. Hous.Dev. Corp., 429 U.S. 252, 267 (1977) (internal citations omitted). Effectually,it is a mistake to view this case in a vacuum-as if the Louisiana Legislature'sredistricting efforts and duties burgeon in January 2024. Instead, viewingthe case within the lens of the appropriate backdrop―the United States andLouisiana Constitutions, Robinson v. Ardoin, 5 and Governor Landry's call toopen the 2024 Extraordinary Legislative Session—the Legislature had anobligation to reapportion.The U.S. Constitution sets out that “[t]he House of Representativesshall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People ofthe several States." It further vests state legislatures with the primaryresponsibility to craft federal congressional districts, namely through theElection Clause. U.S. Const. art. I, § 4, cl. 1. Article III, § 6 of the LouisianaConstitution charges the Louisiana Legislature with the duty to reapportionthe single-member districts for the U.S. House of Representatives after eachdecennial census. La. Const. art. III, § 6. In April 2021, the results of the 2020Census were delivered to Louisiana and the state's congressionalapportionment remained six seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.Robinson Interv. FOF, ECF 189-1, 11 (citing Robinson I, 605 F. Supp. 3d 767).The 2020 Census data would drive the state of Louisiana's redistrictingprocess. See La. Const. art. III, § 6; Robinson 1, 605 F. Supp. 3d at 767.5 Robinson v. Ardoin, 605 F. Supp. 3d 759, 767 (M.D. La. 2022) ("Robinson I"), cert.granted before judgment, 142 S. Ct. 2892 (2022), and cert. dismissed as improvidentlygranted, 143 S. Ct. 2654 (2023), and vacated and remanded, 86 F.4th 574 (5th Cir. 2023).3

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 64 of 135 PageID #:4954"Leading up to their redistricting session, legislators held a series of'roadshow' meetings across the state, designed to share information aboutredistricting and solicit public comment and testimony, which lawmakersdescribed as absolutely vital to this process." Id. "The drawing of new mapswas guided in part by Joint Rule No. 21, passed by the Louisiana Legislaturein 2021 to establish criteria that would ‘promote the development ofconstitutionally and legally acceptable redistricting plans."" Robinson 1, 605F. Supp. 3d at 767. “The Legislature convened on February 1, 2022 to beginthe redistricting process; on February 18, 2022, H.B. 1 and S.B. 5, the billssetting forth new maps for the 2022 election cycle, passed the Legislature."Id. at 767-68.Following the promulgation of H.B. 1, a select group of Black votersbrought a claim under § 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ("VRA") toinvalidate the congressional maps. See id. at 760. The events of thatlitigation as it proceeded through in the Middle District of Louisiana and theFifth Circuit propelled the newly elected Governor Jeff Landry to call anExtraordinary Legislative Session in January 2024. See JE 35 at 10–14.Ultimately, S.B. 8 "was chosen over other plans with two majority-Blackdistricts that were more compact and split fewer parishes andmunicipalities because those plans failed to achieve the overriding goal ofprotecting the seats of United States House Speaker Mike Johnson, MajorityLeader Steve Scalise, and Representative Julia Letlow at the expense ofRepresentative Garret Graves." Robinson Interv. Post-trial Memo, ECF 189at 1; Robinson Interv. FOF, ECF 189-1, at 33–35, ¶¶ 135–142.While the panel majority repeatedly concedes that the Hayslitigation is three decades old and relies on now-antiquated data, its opinionnevertheless presses forward by drawing parallels and making conclusionsthat are devoid of crucial context. The panel majority avers that "much of4

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 65 of 135 PageID #:4955the 'local appraisal' analysis from Hays I remains relevant to an analysis ofS.B.8," claiming that S.B. 8's District 6 succumbs to the same violations ofthe “traditional north-south ethno-religious division of the State.” MajorityOp. 53-54. Unlike Hays, where the cartographer tasked with drawing themap conceded that he "concentrated virtually exclusively on racialdemographics and considered essentially no other factor except theubiquitous constitutional ‘one person-one vote' requirement,” the recordbefore this court is filled with evidence that political factors wereparamount in the drawing of S.B. 8. Additionally, the racial makeup of thestate has changed drastically over the past three decades. As the MiddleDistrict of Louisiana adeptly concluded:"6By every measure, the Black population in Louisiana hasincreased significantly since the 1990 census that informedthe Hays map. According to the Census Bureau, the Blackpopulation of Louisiana in 1990 was 1,299,281.285. At thetime, the Census Bureau did not provide an option to identifyas more than one race. The 2020 Census results indicate acurrent Black population in Louisiana of 1,464,023 using thesingle-race Black metric, and 1,542,119 using the Any PartBlack metric. So, by the Court's calculations, the Blackpopulation in Louisiana has increased by at least 164,742 andas many as 242,838 since the Hays litigation. Hays, decided oncensus data and demographics 30 years ago, is not a magicalincantation with the power to freeze Louisiana'scongressional maps in perpetuity. Hays is distinguishable andinapplicable.Robinson I, 605 F. Supp. 3d at 834. Given this pivotal context, I deem it agrievous error for the panel majority to place the Hays map and S.B. 8 map6Hays v. State, 936 F. Supp. 360, 368 (W.D. La. 1996).

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 66 of 135 PageID #:4956side-by-side and imply that the similarities in district shape alone aredispositive. The panel majority is correct, however, that "[this] Court is notbound by the decisions in the Hays litigation." Majority Op. 53.II. Racial PredominanceBecause of the interminable interplay between satisfying theFourteenth Amendment and complying with § 2 of the VRA, it is axiomaticthat electoral districting involves some racial awareness. Redistrictingviolates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment whenrace is the "predominant" consideration in deciding “to place a significantnumber of voters within or without a particular district." Miller, 515 U.S. at913, 916. However, the Supreme Court has highlighted that:[Electoral] districting differs from other kinds of statedecision-making in that the legislature always is aware of racewhen it draws district lines, just as it is aware of age, economicstatus, religious and political persuasion, and a variety ofother demographic factors. That sort of race consciousnessdoes not lead inevitably to impermissible race discrimination.Shaw v. Reno, 509 U.S. 630, 646 (1993) (“Shaw I"); see also Miller, 515 915–16 (“Redistricting legislatures will . . . almost always be aware ofracial demographics; but it does not follow that race predominates in theredistricting process."). The Court again reemphasized in Easley v.Cromartie that “race must not simply have been a motivation for thedrawing of a majority-minority district but the predominant factormotivating the legislature's districting decision." 532 U.S. 234, 241 (2001)("Cromartie II") (internal citations and quotation marks omitted).Consequently, in my view, the panel majority has not properly assessed"predominance" under the relevant caselaw.Specifically, the Supreme Court has directed "courts, in assessing thesufficiency of a challenge to a districting plan, [to] be sensitive to the6

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 67 of 135 PageID #:4957complex interplay of forces that enter a legislature's redistricting calculus.”Miller, 515 U.S. at 915-16. This sensitive inquiry requires a careful balancingof the legislative record and evidence adduced at trial to unpack themotivations behind the lines on the map. The Court in Miller explained that:The distinction between being aware of racial considerationsand being motivated by them may be difficult to make. Thisevidentiary difficulty, together with the sensitive nature ofredistricting and the presumption of good faith that must beaccorded legislative enactments, requires courts to exerciseextraordinary caution in adjudicating claims that a State hasdrawn district lines on the basis of race.Id. at 916. The Supreme Court in Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v.Alabama reaffirmed the characterizations of "predominance" and theassociated burden of proof. 575 U.S. 254, 272 (2015) Plainly, “a plaintiffpursuing a racial gerrymandering claim must show that race was thepredominant factor motivating the legislature's decision to place asignificant number of voters within or without a particular district." Id.(quoting Miller, 515 U.S. at 916) (internal quotation marks omitted). Here,Plaintiffs have shown racial awareness-to be sure. But identifyingawareness is not the end of the inquiry.To prove racial predominance, a "plaintiff must prove that thelegislature subordinated traditional race-neutral districting principles . . . toracial considerations." Miller, 515 U.S. at 916. The relevant "traditional race-neutral districting principles," which the Court has listed many times,include "compactness, contiguity, respect for political subdivisions orcommunities defined by actual shared interests," incumbency protection,and political affiliation. Miller, 515 U.S. at 901; Bush v. Vera, 517 U.S. 952,964, 968 (1996). A plaintiff's burden in a racial gerrymandering case is "toshow, either through circ*mstantial evidence of a district's shape and7

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 68 of 135 PageID #:4958demographics or more direct evidence going to legislative purpose, thatrace was the predominant factor motivating the legislature's decision."Miller, 515 U.S. at 916. Plaintiffs have failed to show racial predominancethrough either direct or circ*mstantial evidence or any combinationthereof.A. Circ*mstantial Evidence

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 69 of 135 PageID #:4959Like the plaintiffs in Cromartie I, Plaintiffs here seek to prove theirracial gerrymandering claim through circ*mstantial evidence—e.g., mapsshowing the district's size, shape, an alleged lack of continuity, andstatistical and demographic evidence. See 526 U.S. at 541–43. In their post-trial memorandum, Plaintiffs maintain that the "bizarre shape of District 6reveals racial predominance." ECF 190 at 15. In opposition, the State raisesits "political motivation" defense by alleging that: (1) “the Governor and theLegislature made a political judgment to reclaim the State's sovereign rightto draw congressional maps rather than cede that responsibility to thefederal courts” and (2) “the contours of the S.B. 8 map were themselvesmotivated by serious political calculations." State's Post Trial Memo at 5-6.Because "political and racial reasons are capable of yielding similar odditiesin a district's boundaries," the Court in Cooper entrusted trial courts with "aformidable task: [to] make ‘a sensitive inquiry' into all 'circ*mstantial anddirect evidence of intent' to assess whether the plaintiffs have managed todisentangle race from politics and prove that the former drove a district'slines." Cooper, 581 U.S. at 308 (quoting Cromartie I, 526 U.S. at 546). Here,the trial record underscores that Plaintiffs have made no effort todisentangle race consciousness from the political factors motivating District6's precise lines. Therefore, the panel majority cannot undertake the"sensitive inquiry" required. Because Plaintiffs have fallen short, the panelmajority takes a myopic view of the record and pieces together slithers ofcirc*mstantial evidence without comprehensively analyzing all pieces ofevidence to the contrary to craft a "story of racial gerrymandering." SeeMajority Op. at 39 (citing Miller, 515 U.S. at 917).6

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 70 of 135 PageID #:4960First, I begin by explaining how the panel majority's narrowperspective incorporates no evidence that District 6's lines were drawnsolely based on race. Second, I address how Plaintiffs' inconsistentdemographic testimony is deficiently limited in scope to support theconclusion that race predominated. Third, I discuss how Plaintiffs' similarlyimpaired simulation data fails to meet the demanding burden as requiredby binding precedent.i. The Shape of District 6A point of agreement amongst the panel in this case is that “[a]district's shape can provide circ*mstantial evidence of a racialgerrymander." Majority Op. 35. However, we diverge based on how weapply this significant point, as the panel majority confuses evidence that theLegislature sought to create a second majority-Black district with evidencethat race was the “dominant and controlling” factor in the drawing of S.B.8's contours.10

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 71 of 135 PageID #:4961The Supreme Court has acknowledged that notwithstanding the factthat circ*mstantial evidence—like a district's unusual shape-can give riseto an inference of an “impermissible racial motive," such a bizarre shape“can arise from a 'political motivation' as well as a racial one.” Cooper, 581U.S. at 308; Cromartie I, 526 U.S. at 547 n.3.7 As such, the inquiry does notstop at a rudimentary examination of the district's lines in some precincts.In Cooper, the Court further clarified this point by articulating that "suchevidence [of a ‘highly irregular' shape] loses much of its value when theState asserts partisanship as a defense, because a bizarre shape” may beattributed best to political or personal considerations for a legislator insteadof racial considerations. See 581 U.S. at 308. The panel majority's andPlaintiffs' inability to coherently parse these considerations is particularlystriking as there have been several instances in Louisiana "where legislatorswanted a precinct in their district because their grandmother lived there."See, e.g., Trial Tr. 177 (testimony of Dr. Voss). Nonetheless, the panelmajority ignores this crucial step of the circ*mstantial evidence analysis,eliding to other “mixed motive” cases. Majority Op. 38.7 See also Shaw v. Hunt, 517 U.S. 899, 905 (1996) (“Shaw II") (acknowledging that"serpentine district" was "highly irregular and geographically non-compact by anyobjective standard"); Miller v. Johnson, 515 U.S. 900, 913 (1995) ("Shape is relevant . . .because it may be persuasive circ*mstantial evidence that race for its own sake, and notother districting principles, was the legislature's dominant and controlling rationale indrawing its district lines.").11

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 72 of 135 PageID #:4962However, a closer comparison between the instant case and thoseprior "mixed motive" cases reveals how inapt these comparisons are. InShaw I, the Court stated that in "exceptional cases," a congressional districtmay be drawn in a “highly irregular” manner such that it facially cannot be"understood as anything other than an effort to segregate voters on thebasis of race." Shaw I, 509 U.S. at 646-47 (internal citation and quotationmarks omitted); see also Richard H. Pildes, Richard Niemi, Expressive Harms,"Bizarre Districts," and Voting Rights: Evaluating Election-DistrictAppearances After Shaw v. Reno, 92 Mich. L. Rev. 483 (1993). Since thatutterance in Shaw I, the Court has never struck down a map based on itsshape alone. Nonetheless, the panel majority functionally does so here onthe basis of severely cabined analyses of select precincts in themetropolitan areas within the district. See Plaintiffs' Br. 9-10; Majority Op.38.1212

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 73 of 135 PageID #:4963The panel majority cites to Vera as a basis for its conclusion that thecirc*mstantial evidence in this case is sufficient to show racialpredominance. A closer look at that case demonstrates how inapt thatcomparison is. In Vera, the Court considered a challenge to three districts inTexas's reapportionment plan following the 1990 census. 517 U.S. at 956.There, as here, the Texas Legislature admitted that it intentionally soughtto draw three districts "for the purpose of enhancing the opportunity ofminority voters to elect minority representatives to Congress." See Vera v.Richards, 861 F. Supp. 1304, 1337 (S.D. Tex. 1994). However, the recordthere was replete with specific, direct evidence that several members of theTexas Legislature were moving around Black neighborhoods and precinctsinto the new Congressional districts that they then hoped to run for. Id. at1338-40. The Court noted that the Texas Legislature used a computerprogram called "REDAPPL" to aid in drawing district lines. 517 U.S. at 961.The software incorporated racial composition statistics for the proposeddistricts as they were drawn on a “block-by-block" level. Id. (noting that the“availability and use of block-by-block racial data was unprecedented”).With all of this in mind, the Court then rejected the state's incumbencyprotection defense because the district court's "findings amplydemonstrate[d] that such influences were overwhelmed in thedetermination of the districts' bizarre shaped by the State's efforts tomaximize racial divisions." 517 U.S. at 975.None of that is present in this case. This is not a case like Vera, wherethe political motives of self-interested electoral hopefuls directly attributedto the precise placement of the electoral map lines that comprised thoseracially gerrymandered districts. There is no § 5 preclearance letter in whichthe state legislature, speaking with one voice, explains that the odd shapesin the map result solely from “the maximization of minority voting13

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 74 of 135 PageID #:4964strength." See id. The panel majority is correct in noting that this is a mixedmotive case. But to note this and then to subsequently make a conclusorydetermination as to racial predominance is hard to comprehend.Particularly so where broad swaths of the record are not addressed. In fact,a quick comparison of District 6 (depicted in lime green below) to the "highlyirregular" districts from Vera (depicted in black outlines) underscores howthe district's shape alone is insufficient evidence to prove racialpredominance.³ Simply put, one of these is not like the others.8 While the following images are not at a 1:1 scale, the striking visible differencesbetween District 6 in S.B. 8 and the districts in Vera-which more clearly evince an intentto carve up communities and neighborhoods under the guise of invidious racialsegregation—show how just examining a few portions of the district is insufficient toparse out whether race predominated. See 861 F. Supp. at 1336 (noting the borders"change from block to block, from one side of the street to the other, and traverse streets,bodies of water, and commercially developed areas in seemingly arbitrary fashion").14

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 75 of 135 PageID #:4965LIVEகெண்WJack15

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 76 of 135 PageID #:4966District 6's shape is not meaningfully comparable to the series ofsubstantially thinner, sprawling, salamander-like districts that have beendeemed impermissible racial gerrymanders. In spite of these glaringdifferences, the panel majority erroneously concludes that a racialgerrymander occurred here in spite of several inconsistencies in Plaintiffs'expert testimony and a limited review of the legislative and trial records.See Cromartie II, 532 U.S. at 242-43. It ignores the Court's explicitdeterminations that evidence of race-consciousness considered inconjunction with other redistricting principles “says little or nothing aboutwhether race played a predominant role" in the reapportionment process.Id. at 253-54 (emphasis in original); Miller, 515 U.S. at 916 (legislatures "will... almost always be aware of racial demographics" in the reapportionmentprocess); Shaw I, 509 U.S. at 646 (holding same). It also ignores the well-established principles that “[p]olitics and political considerations areinseparable from districting and apportionment . . . [and] that districtinginevitably has and is intended to have substantial political consequences.”Gaffney v. Cummings, 412 U.S. 735, 753 (1973); see also Vieth v. Jubelirer,541 U.S. 267, 285 (2004) (plurality opinion) (acknowledging that districtingis "root-and-branch a matter of politics"); Trial Tr. 80 (testimony of Sen.Pressly) (admitting that adjudging political considerations of competingprospective legislative actions are “root and branch"). Where there is a“partisanship” or “political motivation” defense, more is required.16

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 77 of 135 PageID #:4967The panel majority errs in its analysis of the metropolitan areas inDistrict 6 because it relies solely on the fact that the Legislature created asecond majority-Black district to show racial predominance. In Shaw I, theCourt declined to adopt the view that the panel majority offers here—thatevidence of “the intentional creation of majority-minority districts, withoutmore, always gives rise to an equal protection claim." 509 U.S. at 649(cleaned up). Compare id. (expressing no view as to whether this actionconstitutes a de facto equal protection violation), with id. at 664 (White, J.,dissenting) (“[T] hat should not detract attention from the rejection by amajority [of the Court] of the claim that the State's intentional creation ofmajority-minority districts transgressed constitutional norms."); see alsoUnited Jewish Orgs. of Williamsburgh, Inc. v. Carey ("UJO"), 430 U.S. 144,165 (1977) ("It is true that New York deliberately increased the nonwhitemajorities in certain districts in order to enhance the opportunity forelection of nonwhite representatives from those districts. Nevertheless,there was no" equal protection violation); cf. Vera, 517 U.S. at 959 (“Wethus differ from Justice Thomas, who would apparently hold that it sufficesthat racial considerations be a motivation for the drawing of a majority-minority district" for strict scrutiny to apply) (emphasis in original). InBethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections, the Court explained that"[e]ven where a challenger alleges a conflict [with traditional redistrictingprinciples], or succeeds in showing one, the court should not confine" itsracial predominance “inquiry to the conflicting portions of the lines.” 580U.S. 178, 191 (2017).9 Vera, 517 U.S. at 958.17

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 78 of 135 PageID #:4968Here, the panel majority makes the mistake of stopping at thedistrict's contours in the major metropolitan areas in the state without fullyconsidering or crediting the abundance of evidence demonstrating thesechoices were political. See Majority Op. 40 ("In sum, the 'heat maps' anddemographic data in evidence tell the true story-that race was thepredominate factor driving decisions made by the State in drawing thecontours of District" Six). Because the panel majority's plain eyeexamination loses much of its value in the face of the state's "politicalmotivation" defense, I now will contextualize the relevant circ*mstantialevidence of legislative intent in this case, including claims of politicalmotivation.ii. Expert Testimony18

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 79 of 135 PageID #:4969Plaintiffs' circ*mstantial evidence elicited through expert testimonyfails to demonstrate that race was the Legislature's controlling motive indrawing S.B. 8. The panel majority makes much ado of Mr. Michael Hefner'sdot density map 10 and testimony that the districting decisions shapingDistrict 6 in Lafayette, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport could onlybe explained by racial considerations. While the Court has acceptedevidence of a district's shape and demographics to prove racialpredominance, it has required the plaintiff to disentangle race from politicalconsiderations. See Cromartie I, 526 U.S. at 546. Here, Plaintiffs' experttestimony fails to account for several valid, non-racial considerations thatexplain the district's shape to impermissibly conclude that racepredominated. Cf. Chen v. City of Houston, 206 F.3d 502, 506 (5th Cir. 2000)("[T]he plaintiffs' burden in establishing racial predominance is a heavyone.").Plaintiffs point to the district's low compactness scores andtestimony from two experts opining that the Legislature subordinatedtraditional redistricting criteria to prove their case via circ*mstantialevidence. Plaintiffs' Br. 8-12. Notwithstanding my own evidentiarydetermination that several traditional principles of redistricting do explainDistrict 6's shape in S.B. 8,11 I now explain that Plaintiffs' offeredcirc*mstantial evidence is insufficient to prove the predominance of race.See Chen, 206 F.3d at 506.a. Demographic Evidence10 Majority Op. 38-39.11 See infra Part I.B.i-ii.1919

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 80 of 135 PageID #:4970The legislative record in this case is inundated with both direct andcirc*mstantial evidence that political considerations predominated in thedrafting and passing of S.B. 8. 12 Plaintiffs assert that their demographer, Mr.Hefner, provided testimony that the “awkward and bizarre shape" of thedistrict suggests that race predominated over traditional redistrictingcriteria. Trial Tr. 304–05. He testified that the district was "very elongated,""contorted," and narrow at points to attach two centers of high BVAPtogether in one district. Trial Tr. 286. However, Mr. Hefner alsoacknowledged that incumbency and compliance with the VRA are alsoimportant traditional redistricting criteria. ¹³ Trial Tr. 293. He also explainedthat political dynamics frequently factor into redistricting. Trial Tr. 321.Ultimately, he concluded that the Louisiana Legislature "can't create asecond majority-minority district and still adhere to traditional redistrictingcriteria” and that “race predominated in the drafting” of S.B. 8. Trial Tr. 271–72. Put another way, no permissible redistricting factor could explain S.B.8's configuration.12 See id.13Q. Are there additional criteria that can be considered?A. Yes. Incumbency can be considered as to not putting incumbents against eachother. Preservation of political entities. It's similar to communities of interest but somespecified as political entries, which would be parishes, precincts, municipalities, thosethat have political boundaries. Also, too, race plays a factor as well, because that's part ofwhat the Voting Rights Act calls attention to for consideration. So those are some of theother criteria that we generally take a look at as we're drafting redistricting plans.Trial Tr. 293 (emphasis added).2020

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 81 of 135 PageID #:4971But there are several logical gaps in Mr. Hefner's testimony. Mr.Hefner limited his examination of S.B. 8 to the factors of communities ofinterest, compactness, and preservation of core districts. Thus, he "did notreview incumbency." Trial Tr. 272. When asked about the importance ofincumbency on redistricting, he opined that a legislature should avoidpitting incumbents against each other to prevent very contentious andunproductive political bodies that fail to “serve the needs of the people."Trial Tr. 335. Mr. Hefner's failure to consider the other politically motivedincumbency protection rationales provided by S.B. 8's sponsor 14demonstrates the unreliability of his testimony. He further constrained hisanalysis to S.B. 8, H.B. 1, and Plaintiffs' Illustrative Plan 1. He did not reviewany "of the other plans with two majority black districts" proposed in the2024 redistricting session, nor did he review "any of the amendments thatwere offered on [S.B. 8] in the 2024 redistricting session.” Trial Tr. 317–18.14 See supra Part II.B.i.a.2124

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 82 of 135 PageID #:4972The gaps in Mr. Hefner's analysis severely undercut his opinion thatrace predominated over respecting communities of interests and politicalsubdivisions. It strains credulity to say that one factor was controlling overall others while simultaneously ignoring several overriding factors. WhileMr. Hefner criticized S.B. 8 for the number of parish and community splitsit contained, he did not criticize the other maps he examined for thatpurpose. For instance, his opinion that race predominated in the drafting ofS.B. 8 was based in part on the amount of parish splits and divisions ofcultural subdivisions tracked by the Louisiana Folklife Program as comparedto prior maps. Trial Tr. 337. However, on cross-examination, Mr. Hefnerconceded that a district in H.B. 1 split the same number of folklife areas asDistrict 6 in S.B. 8. Trial Tr. 337-38. Additionally, Intervenors' expert, Mr.Fairfax, provided credible testimony that showed that S.B. 8 distributed itsparish and municipal splits amongst the districts more equitably incomparison to H.B. 1. Trial Tr. 385–89. Mr. Hefner did not account for suchdistinguishing factors, which tended to challenge his broad conclusion thattwo majority-minority districts could not be drawn in Louisiana whileadhering to traditional redistricting principles.2222

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 83 of 135 PageID #:4973Further inconsistencies persisted in his testimony. Mr. Hefner did notoffer the same critiques of the shapes of districts in Plaintiffs' IllustrativePlan 1. In fact, he opined that that map "adhered to traditional redistrictingprinciples.'.”15 Notwithstanding this point, Mr. Hefner agreed that District 5of Illustrative Plan 1 spanned approximately 230 miles from end to end. 16By Mr. Hefner's own calculus, District 5 of the plan is a district that isvirtually not compact at all. District 6 of S.B. 8 ranges nearly the same length,but he did not agree that S.B. 8 “adhered to traditional redistrictingprinciples." These shifting goalposts based upon whether Plaintiffs or theIntervenors posited the question further demonstrates that little to noweight can be placed on his testimony. Thus, the obvious tension betweenhis opinions based on which party it benefits substantially diminishes itsweight here, but the panel majority erroneously accepts portions of histestimony to justify its conclusion. It does so even though none of Mr.Hefner's testimony attempts to unpack the entanglement of the two factorsof race and politics plainly present in this case.15 Q. Let me just ask it this way. What does Plaintiffs' Illustrative Plan Number 1,Exhibit PE-14, what does that represent?A. That plan is a congressional plan that preserves District 2 as a traditionalmajority-minority district. It generally follows what has been in place for the past coupleof census cycles. And the division of the rest of the state into districts largely follows. It'ssomewhat similar to the traditional boundaries that have been used in the past. Somedeviations, but generally overall it follows that general configuration.Q. Based on your review of this map, does it adhere to traditional redistrictingprinciples?A. In my opinion it does.Trial Tr. 275-76.16 The Plan's District Five contained a district spanning roughly 230 miles fromWashington Parish in the Southeastern tip of the state all the way up to the Northernportion of the state, with Ouachita Parish serving as a main population center. See TrialTr. 341.2323

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 84 of 135 PageID #:4974Mr. Hefner testified that he did not speak to any legislators from the2024 session or consult any sources within the Legislature informing him ofthe legislative imperatives underlying S.B. 8. See Trial Tr. 321 ("Q. And doyou have any other basis for knowing what any particular legislator thoughtabout the district lines in [S.B. 8] or why they supported them? A. I did seesome [television] interviews of some legislators after [S.B. 8] wasapproved.”). Thus, his ultimate conclusion that race predominated over anypermissible factor is factually unsupported because he failed to examineseveral traditionally accepted factors of redistricting. Most glaring is hisfailure to examine, analyze, or otherwise critique S.B. 8's incumbencyprotection considerations or the Legislature's rejection of amendments thatsolely sought to increase BVAP within the district and added additionalparish splits. RI 42; Trial Tr. 573-74 (describing how the legislature struckdown an amendment "increased the BVAP in both District 2 and District 6"in a bipartisan vote because it added additional parish splits to the map);Trial Tr. 575 (noting the Legislature's bipartisan rejection of efforts to just"mov[e] black precincts around for no particular reason other than to doso").2424

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 85 of 135 PageID #:4975The legislative history of S.B. 8 demonstrates that the Legislaturetook great consideration to avoid merely lumping enough Black Voting AgePopulation ("BVAP") into two districts to satisfy the Robinson I court. Mr.Hefner's failure to account for the history of amendments to S.B. 8demonstrates how his narrative of racial predominance in the Legislaturedisintegrates upon review of the record. The Legislature rejectedamendments that solely sought to increase BVAP in specific districts andwere voted down and discouraged by the bill's proponents and author. SeeTrial Tr. 317–18. As the legislative record shows, Senator Heather Cloud ofAvoyelles Parish introduced an amendment that introduced an additionalsplit in District 6, increasing the number of parish splits in S.B. 8 to sixteen,one more split than H.B. 1. Although Mr. Hefner criticizes the number ofparish splits in S.B. 8 to serve as evidence that the Legislature raciallygerrymandered here, he admittedly did not know that Senator Cloud'samendment was offered to further protect Congresswoman Letlow's seatby moving her own constituents into Letlow's district. JE 29 at 5-6. Thisextra parish split also narrows District 6 before it traverses throughAlexandria. It also explains why the district is narrower at that point and―in Mr. Hefner's view—bears tenuous contiguity. ¹7 See Trial Tr. 293–94..1717 On a related note, the legislative record also established that Rapides Parish isaccustomed to split representation in a single-member district capacity. Senator Luneauof Rapides Parish noted that in the reapportionment process for State Senate districts, hishome parish answered to "six different [state] senators." JE 34 at 9-10. Priorjurisprudence demonstrates that further segmentation of parishes accustomed tosplitting to achieve partisan goals. In Theriot v. Parish of Jefferson, the Fifth Circuit heldthat no racial gerrymander occurred where “the Parish was not unaccustomed to splittingdistricts in order to achieve political goals." 185 F.3d 477, 483 (5th Cir. 1999). Thus, thecontours of the Rapides Parish area in S.B. 8 cannot seriously be considered to be theproduct of racial gerrymandering—as Plaintiffs allege—without more evidence than mereconjecture.2525

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 86 of 135 PageID #:4976Senator Cloud described her amendment at the Senate andGovernmental Affairs Committee hearing as an amendment seeking toprotect the only Republican Congresswoman in Louisiana's CongressionalDelegation. JE 29 at 13–14. Senator Cloud's amendment was the only onemade during the legislative process that withstood detailed examination byboth houses of the Louisiana Legislature. RE 42; JE 29 at 5-6. The only otheramendment that passed in committee was offered by Representative LesFarnum of Calcasieu Parish. Trial Tr. 571-72. Representative Farnumintroduced an amendment before the House and Governmental AffairsCommittee that sought to make his constituents in Calcasieu Parish in onewhole district. Trial Tr. 572. While the amendment advanced out ofcommittee, it was removed from the bill after substantial bipartisanopposition prompted a floor vote to strip the amendment from S.B. 8. TrialTr. 573-74. Particularly revealing is that S.B. 8's legislative historydemonstrates how the Legislature actively sought to prevent the grosscontravention of traditional redistricting principles in favor of just gettingspecific districts to certain BVAP concentrations. See id. (detailing theLegislature's denial of amendment to subdivide Baton Rouge into threecongressional districts in favor of increasing BVAP in District 2 by someamount).2626

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 87 of 135 PageID #:4977The history of amendments to the bill do not fit the creative narrativethat Mr. Hefner paints in this case to show racial predominance. In the lightof all this information publicly available in the legislative record, Mr. Hefnercabined his analysis to just the final enacted version of S.B. 8 and two othermaps, without seeking to get the full scope of the legislative environmentthat created S.B. 8. Notably, the Court said in Cooper that where politicalconcerns are raised in defense of a map, evidence of non-compactness"loses much of its value . . . because a bizarre shape. . . can arise from a'political motivation' as well as a racial one.” 581 U.S. at 308. Furthermore,"political and racial reasons are capable of yielding similar oddities in adistrict's boundaries.” Id. Here, Senator Glen Womack of Catahoula Parish,the author of S.B. 8, addressed those reasons at numerous points during thelegislative session. His intent was clear and consistent. JE 31 at 121-22(statement of Sen. Womack) (“We were ordered to draw a [secondmajority-Black] district, and that's what I've done. At the same time, I triedto protect Speaker Johnson, Minority Leader Scalise, and my representativeCongresswoman Letlow."). He stated that he sought to draw "boundaries inth[e] bill" to "ensure that Congresswoman Letlow remains both unimpairedwith any other incumbents and in a congressional district that shouldcontinue to elect a Republican to Congress for the remainder of thisdecade." JE 29 at 2 (Sen. Womack's Remarks Before January 16, 2024Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing). Based on this strongevidence of legislative will directed at preserving political and personalinterests during the redistricting process, I would hold that Plaintiffs'circ*mstantial demographic evidence cannot be taken in whole or in part tosatisfy its burden of showing that race predominated in the drafting of S.B.8.b. Simulation Evidence2727

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 88 of 135 PageID #:4978Neither does Plaintiffs' simulation evidence move the needle forthem toward satisfying their stringent burden of proof.. The panel majoritylikewise credits the marginally relevant testimony of Plaintiffs' other expert,Dr. Stephen Voss. Dr. Voss opined that simulation techniques demonstratethat (1) S.B. 8 constitutes an impermissible racial gerrymander because noother legislative imperatives would create districts in those forms; (2) theLouisiana Legislature “compromised" various “traditional redistrictingcriteria" in drawing S.B. 8, and; (3) there "is not a sufficiently large andcompact African American population to allow [two majority-Black] districtsthat would conform to traditional redistricting criteria.” Trial Tr. 91.When posed with the question of S.B. 8's political goals, Dr. Vossopined that "[i]f you're not trying to draw a second Black majority district,it is very easy to protect Representative Julia Letlow." Trial Tr. 108. Thiscommentary misses the mark entirely. Neither through simulations nortestimony, Dr. Voss did not demonstrate that it is possible to achieve all ofS.B. 8's main political goals and generate extremely compact districts. Oncross-examination, he admitted that he did not "explore” directing thesoftware to prevent "double bunking" or pairing of two specific incumbents.See Trial Tr. 175 (cross-examination of Dr. Voss).28

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 89 of 135 PageID #:4979As such, Dr. Voss's conclusion that only racial considerations accountfor District 6's shape flies in the face of his testimony that permissibleconsiderations include regional representation, incumbency protection,and various other personally politicized considerations held by legislators inredistricting. Compare Trial Tr. 177–78 (admitting that the Legislature'srationales given ordinarily constitute valid reasons justifying a map's shape),with Trial Tr. 180 (attempting to distinguish those factors' application in thiscase). At most, Dr. Voss only measured or weighed two political motives atthe same time: (1) “sacrificing" Congressman Graves and (2) protectingCongresswoman Letlow. Trial Tr. 110 (stating that the Legislature couldhave complied with these two specific goals and presented a map that isless offensive to traditional redistricting principles); Trial Tr. 111-12 (statingsame). With the aid of his simulations, he argued that it would be easy toprotect Congresswoman Letlow by pulling her westward into a NorthLouisiana district even if a second majority-Black district stretched up theMississippi River into Northeast Louisiana. But pulling her district westwarddraws her closer to the population bases supporting Speaker Johnson'sprominence in his district Northwest Louisiana based district.29

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 90 of 135 PageID #:4980Dr. Voss neglected to address protecting the Speaker of the Houseand Majority Leader at the same time as protecting Congresswoman Letlowand cutting out Congressman Graves. See id. On direct, Dr. Voss stated thatout of his 20,000 simulations, he did have difficulty with securingCongresswoman Letlow and Speaker Johnson without risking MajorityLeader Scalise's seat. Trial Tr. 140. Then on cross examination, Dr. Vossconceded that his simulations could not consistently guarantee safe seatsfor Speaker Johnson, Majority Leader Scalise, and Congresswoman Letlow.Trial Tr. 140 (conceding that many simulations jeopardized Scalise's seatand others pitted the Speaker against Letlow). Attempting to rationalizewhy he could not account for these valid considerations, Dr. Voss testifiedon redirect that some unknown number of simulations generated planswithout two majority-Black districts that also achieved these political goals.This testimony, while sensible in the abstract, is nonsensical whenapplied to the appropriate legislative and constitutional context. Article III,§ 6 of the Louisiana Constitution specifies that "the legislature shallreapportion the representation in each house as equally as practicable onthe basis of population shown by the census." It is indelibly clear-seemingly to everyone except Plaintiffs' experts-that redistricting is a"root-and-branch" political matter. See Vieth, 541 U.S. at 285; Shaw, 509U.S. at 662 (White, J., dissenting) (“[D]istricting inevitably is the expressionof interest group politics."). We are tasked with evaluating legislation thatis the product of the legislative body's choice resulting from a politicalprocess. For this reason, failing to evaluate a politically charged defense thatfrequently yields oddly shaped districts for personal and political goals ofthe legislators involved cannot be adequate proof that meets thedemanding standard required of Plaintiffs.3030

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 91 of 135 PageID #:4981-Numerous current and former elected officials from both majorpolitical parties testified that the legislative aims raised in the 2024 sessionwere (1) satisfying the VRA, (2) protecting senior incumbents withinfluential national positions, and (3) maintaining the sovereign prerogativeof the legislature. See, e.g., JE 31 (Rep. Carlson) (“I can assure you this . . .we're not here today because we're caving to any kind of political pressure.The fact of the matter is, like it or not, Judge Dick has said, ‘Either you doyour job and draw the map, or I'll draw the map for you,' period."); Trial Tr.47-48 (“[T]he only reason we were there was because of the otherlitigation; and Judge Dick saying that she if we didn't" comply with theVRA "she was going to" draw the State's map for them); Trial Tr. 81-82(testimony of Sen. Pressly) (stating that Judge Dick would draw the maps ifthe Legislature did not, and would not consider political benefits to anyparty or persons); Trial Tr. 368. In my view, Intervenor's expert, Dr. CoryMcCartan, credibly demonstrated how the limitations of Dr. Voss'spurported race-conscious simulations actually failed to account for race inany meaningful manner. Trial Tr. 196-97. Dr. McCartan noted thesubstantial difference between stating that "a simulation that uses a tiny bitof racial information doesn't produce black districts, and the extrapolatingfrom there to say that if you produce two black districts, it must be extremeracial gerrymandering." Trial Tr. 196–97. The panel majority avoids thispotent adverse testimony by distinguishing Dr. McCartan's work with hisALARM team from the present case. Majority Op. 26–28.31

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 92 of 135 PageID #:4982The panel majority's brief discussion of the limitations on Dr. Voss'ssimulation evidence is in tension with the nature of the pivotal inquiry thatthis panel was convened to undertake: To evaluate whether theLegislature and not a rebuttal witness's own team-had subjugated alltraditional redistricting principles to yield a certain result-i.e., thechallenged district. Dr. McCartan's testimony credibly shows thatsimulations cannot prove the “impossibility" that Dr. Voss sought toprove, 18 and that Dr. Voss's simulation methods added additional restraintsthat in turn stopped generating results which would more closely resemblethe factors that the Legislature actually considered in this case. Trial Tr. 196.18Dr. Voss even acknowledged this, stating that in Louisiana "the number of plansthat meet all [traditional redistricting principles] is probably bigger than the number ofatoms in the entire universe." Trial Tr. 200-201; see also Trial Tr. 130.32

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 93 of 135 PageID #:4983Setting aside the panel majority's attempts to justify the relevanceof Dr. Voss's simulations, 19 the simulation evidence in this case is preciselythe type of inconclusive evidence that insufficiently pits S.B. 8 in "endlessbeauty contests" with other potential maps the Legislature could havedrawn but never would have realistically considered for a myriad of reasonsother than race. See Vera, 517 U.S. at 977. Absent from the panel majority'sanalysis of Dr. Voss's simulation testimony was his admission that “thepopulation tolerances required from real maps without splitting precincts,"as required by Joint Rule 21, 20 "may not be achievable with a simulationmethod" and likely does not yield "feasible maps” in “many cases.” Trial Tr.152-53. This admission again demonstrates how this evidence fails toencapsulate the pressing factors that the Legislature actually considered. Insum, this evidence does not satisfy Plaintiffs' burden.19 Trial Tr. 179 (redirect examination of Dr. Voss); Majority Op. at 28.20 The Louisiana Legislature passed Joint Rule 21 in 2021 to establish criteria thatwould "promote the development of constitutionally and legally acceptable redistrictingplans." Joint Rule 21 (2021),

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 94 of 135 PageID #:4984Through Voss's and Hefner's testimony, Plaintiffs present a simplesyllogism. (A) An unconstitutional racial gerrymander occurs wheretraditional redistricting criteria and other permissible factors cannotaccount for the shape of the offending district. (B) District 6's shape in S.B.8 cannot be explained by any permissible reapportionment factors. (C)Thus, S.B. 8 constitutes an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. The glaringgap in the expert testimony results from the fact that both Voss and Hefnerdid not account for numerous valid justifications for District 6's shape. Thus,it is disingenuous to conclude that no permissible factors—such asprotecting incumbents, 21 eliminating the Governor's political opponents, 2connected ethno-religious networks, 23 the linkage of the District'scommunities via the 1-49 corridor and Red River Basin, 24 veritable culturalsimilarities, 25 and shared educational and health resources amongstresidents of District 6, 26 among others—justify or explain District 6's shape.2221Q. And so you mentioned the difference in configuration between your Bill S.B.4 and S.B. 8. Did you have any impression about any rationale behind those differentconfigurations?A. So during the whole time I spent in redistricting, you don't have to be aredistricting expert to know that any time a new map is drawn, it's kind of like playingmusical chairs. There is going to be someone who is negatively impacted from anincumbency standpoint. And of the six congressional districts, the question was always ifthere was going to be a second majority black district drawn, who would be negative --who would be most negatively impacted by this if we are -- again, we have --a new maphas to be drawn. So I believe that ultimately played into what map the Legislature choseto support.-Trial Tr. 525-26; see also Trial Tr. 71 (testimony of Sen. Pressly) ("There were certainlydiscussions on ensuring -you know, we've got leadership in Washington. You have theSpeaker of the House that's from the Fourth Congressional District and we certainlywanted to protect Speaker Johnson. The Majority Leader, we wanted to make sure thatwe protected, Steve Scalise. Julia Letlow is on Appropriations. That was also veryimportant that we tried to keep her seat as well."); Trial Tr. 79 (testimony of Sen. Pressly);Trial Tr. 63 (testimony of Sen. Seabaugh) (stating same).34

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 95 of 135 PageID #:498522See, e.g., Trial Tr. 527 (testimony of Sen. Duplessis) (“[A]s [redistricting] relates-to incumbency, there will be someone who is negatively impacted, so the choice had tobe made the political decision was made to protect certain members of congress andto not protect one member of congress and it was clear that that member was going tobe Congressman Garret Graves."); Trial Tr. 369-71 (testimony of Rep. Landry) (statingsame); Trial Tr. 60–61 (testimony of Sen. Seabaugh) (agreeing that "protecting" SpeakerJohnson, Majority Leader Scalise, and Congresswoman Letlow “is an important [political]consideration when drawing a congressional map").Q. Let me ask that again. Do you have an understanding if one of the currentcongressional incumbents was drawn out of his or her seat, so to speak, in Senate Bill 8?A. Congressman Graves was targeted in the map, correct. Q. And were you surprised thatCongressman Graves was targeted in the map? A. No. Everyone -- everyone knew that. Allthe legislators, the media reported it. They have had a long-standing contentiousrelationship. Q. And when you say "they," who are you referring to? A. The Governor andCongressman Graves.Trial Tr. 369-71 (testimony of Rep. Landry).23 Trial Tr. 466-67 (testimony of Pastor Harris).24Q. So in your experience as an elected official and a community leader, doesCongressional District 6 in S.B. 8 reflect common communities of interest?A. Yes, it does.Q. And how so?A. Well, I think the two that come most quickly to mind would be the 1-49 corridorand the Red River. Obviously, Shreveport itself was founded by the clearing of the RedRiver. One of the big things that helped make this area grow was navigation thereof. Wehad leadership over the course of the last 50 years that's worked very hard towards tryingto bring that back. You now have a series of lock and dams, five of them, between hereand where the river flows into the Mississippi. That essentially mirrors the eastern side ofthat district. When you add to it, the connecting factor of 1-49, that essentially makesShreveport, Mansfield, Natchitoches, all one general commuting area, all of those areconnecting factors.Trial Tr. 457-58 (testimony of former Mayor Glover) (emphasis added).25 See, e.g., Trial Tr. 467-68 (testimony of Pastor Harris) (explaining that BatonRouge, Alexandria, Lafayette, Natchitoches, and Shreveport share far more culturalcommonalities than any of those cities and New Orleans).26 See, e.g., Trial Tr. 457-58 (testimony of Mayor Glover) (explaining that theshared Willis-Knighton, Ochsner/LSUS, and Christus medical systems within District 6provide the bulwark of medical care to the persons of the region).5535

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 96 of 135 PageID #:4986Plaintiffs' position ignores that the record as a whole establishes thatincumbency protection was the most often stated motivating factor27behind S.B. 8. Instead, they adhere closely to a minority of voices within theLouisiana Legislature. 28 Respectfully, I strongly disagree with the panelmajority's narrow reading of the conflicting demographic and statisticalopinions offered to fashion its conclusion that race was "the legislature'sdominant and controlling rationale in drawing its district lines." See Miller,515 U.S. at 913.iii. Any Allegory to Hays or Application of its Outdated Rationales isMisguided27 As evidenced by the fact that all other, more compact maps from the 2024legislative session that also sought to comply with the VRA died in committee. See, e.g.,Trial Tr. 482 (testimony of Ms. Thomas).28 Trial Tr. 533 (testimony of Sen. Duplessis) ("I think some of the members ofthe Shreveport delegation may have voted against [S.B. 8], but it passedoverwhelmingly.").36

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 97 of 135 PageID #:4987Similarly difficult to comprehend is the panel majority's position thatHays provides this court with a helpful allegory to make its determination.In Hays I and Hays II, the district court invalidated congressional maps withtwo majority-minority districts as impermissible racial gerrymanders onEqual Protection grounds. See Hays I, 839 F. Supp. at 1195; see also Hays v.Louisiana, 936 F. Supp. 360, 368 (W.D. La. 1996) (Hays IV). In Hays I, thedistrict court was confronted with an equal protection challenge to a districtbearing similarities to District 6. The panel described the contested districtas "an inkblot which has spread indiscriminately across the Louisiana map.”936 F. Supp. at 364. Throughout Mr. Hefner's and Dr. Voss's testimonies,they repeatedly stated, suggested, and opined that Louisiana'sconfiguration of minority populations today does not allow the Legislatureto draw a map with two minority-Black districts without violating theConstitution.But when confronted with these assertions on cross-examination,each quickly equivocated stating that they either "can't offer an opinion on"whether "it's impossible to create a congressional plan with two majority-Black districts that perform well on traditional redistricting principles," TrialTr. 318-320, or that the simulations could not account for other traditionalredistricting principles that the Legislature considered in drafting S.B. 8,Trial Tr. 160-61. Aside from the limited testimony parroting the datedproposition derived from the Hays litigation, Plaintiffs ignore the fact thatHays does not account for drastic changes in the state's populationdynamics that have occurred since the late 1990s. 29 The decennial censushas occurred three times since the ink dried on the last iteration of the Hayscase.29 See supra, p. 4.3437

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 98 of 135 PageID #:4988It is for this reason, among others, that the Middle District ofLouisiana rejected every formulation of the argument that the "Hays maps[were] instructive, applicable, or otherwise persuasive." See 605 F. Supp. 3d759, 852 (M.D. La. 2022); see also id. at 834. Not only was this sentimentaccepted by the Fifth Circuit, 30 but it was also accepted by the LouisianaLegislature during the 2024 redistricting session. Members of the House andGovernmental Affairs Committee repeatedly rejected the assertion thatHays preempts S.B. 8's design of District 6. JE 31 at 117–18. During thetestimony of Mr. Paul Hurd, counsel for Plaintiffs in this case,Representative Josh Carlson of Lafayette Parish clarified that Robinsonpresented the Legislature with the "complete opposite scenario than [Hays]20 years ago." See JE 31 at 117. Despite several attempts to analogize S.B. 8to the Hays cases, no legislator on the committee bought the argument thatthe State could not draw a map that included two majority-Black districts.See JE 31 at 115–18.30 See 86 F.4th at 597 (determining that the Middle District of Louisiana'spreliminary injunction holdings were not clearly erroneous).3838

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 99 of 135 PageID #:4989In response to this repudiation of Hays-like rationales to abandonS.B. 8, Plaintiffs' own counsel conceded that a congressional map with twomajority-minority districts was constitutionally valid during his testimonyduring the 2024 legislative session. JE 31 at 118. During that same Houseand Governmental Affairs Committee meeting, Mr. Hurd testified that “Ibelieve that my districting plan that I've handed in and I did it for an anexample is as close as you can get to a non-racially gerrymandered districtand get to two majority-minority districts, and it does." JE 31 at 31 (page118). He further stated that “[t]here are abilities to draw a [second]compact contiguous majority-minority district" in the State of Louisiana. Id.This evidence in the record demonstrates precisely how Plaintiffs'circ*mstantial case fails to meet their burden. Their case is directly rootedto expert demographic and simulation testimony that merely repackages anoutdated and factually unsupported thesis: that any congressional map withtwo majority-Black districts must be unconstitutional for the reasonsderived from data and occurrences from nearly three decades ago. See Hays1, 839 F. Supp. at 1195; Robinson, 605 F. Supp. 3d at 852. To avoid addressingthese inconsistencies apparent from the record, the panel majority blendsthe circ*mstantial and direct evidence together to conclude that raceplayed a qualitatively greater role in S.B. 8's drafting. A look at the directevidence shows how this conclusion is unwarranted based on the totality ofthe legislative record.39

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 100 of 135 PageID#: 4990B. Direct Evidence: Legislators' IntentThe panel majority states that it “acknowledges that the recordincludes evidence that race-neutral considerations factored into theLegislature's decisions." Majority Op. 43. However, it disregards themountain of direct evidence showing that the political directives "could notbe compromised," as each of the other proposed bills that did not achievethose goals were not seriously considered by the Legislature. See Bethune-Hill, 580 U.S. at 189. The panel majority embraces only the quotes from thelegislative session that refer to the Legislature's decision to exercise itssovereign prerogative to draw its maps under the Louisiana Constitutionfollowing Robinson I. Majority Op. 41-42. It cites some language fromSenator Womack, the bill's sponsor, stating that he drew the map to createtwo majority-Black districts as direct evidence of racial predominance. Itquotes the statements from select members of the Legislature atfunctionally every time they mention Robinson I and the Governor'sdecision to place the task of drawing new electoral maps into the hands ofthe Legislature. 3131 Indeed, it is clear that the district court ordered the Legislature to draw a mapconsisting of two majority-Black districts. As result, Plaintiffs assert that race was not onlythe predominant factor, but the only factor. Assuming arguendo, how then can wereconcile the assertion that race was the only factor considered when drawing S.B. 8 withthe existence of several other maps, including S.B. 4 which contained even more compactdistricts than the adopted map? How is it possible that each proposed map, and theensuing amendments, resulted in distinct district renderings? Neither Plaintiffs nor themajority broach this issue because they would be forced to confront what is clear: thatfactors beyond race, including political considerations, went into the drawing of the mapsthat included two majority-Black districts, including S.B. 8.40

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 101 of 135 PageID#: 4991These statements-either alone or crammed together with thecirc*mstantial evidence—are insufficient to show racial predominance. Thepanel majority's conflation of evidence of race consciousness for thepurpose of avoiding successive § 2 violations under the VRA with racialpredominance is unprecedented. Its decision to do so after it acknowledgesthat evidence of race consciousness does not constitute evidence of racialpredominance is also somewhat hard to comprehend. Majority Op. 34(citing Shaw 1, 509 U.S. at 646; Milligan, 599 U.S. at 29). Throughcontextualizing the totality of the legislative record, I will show preciselywhy those statements referencing Robinson I do not prove racialpredominance.i. Legislative RecordUnlike Cooper-which turned on "direct evidence of the GeneralAssembly's intent in creating the [challenged district], including many hoursof trial testimony subject to credibility determinations,""32 this caseinvolves limited trial testimony regarding legislative intent. Although a"statement from a state official is powerful evidence that the legislaturesubordinated traditional districting principles to race when it ultimatelyenacted a plan creating [] majority-black districts," the Court has neverexpressly accepted statements evincing an intent to create a majority-minority district alone as prima facie evidence that a racial gerrymanderoccurred. See Shaw II, 509 U.S. at 649; see also Miller, 515 U.S. at 917–19.32Cooper, 581 U.S. at 322.41

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 102 of 135 PageID#: 4992a. Incumbency ProtectionFirst and foremost, it strains credulity to relegate the potentevidence of political considerations and incumbency protection to a minorfactor in the Legislature's decisions in this case. The trial recordemphatically shows that S.B. 8's sponsor, Senator Womack, spokecontinuously and fervently about his aims to protect certain incumbents―as well as to encase specific communities of interest within District 6. Therecord shows that while the Legislature considered race, it only consideredit alongside other political and geographic considerations. See Cromartie II,532 U.S. at 236. The legislative record reveals that Senator Womack'spersonal goals necessitated the protection of certain members ofLouisiana's Republican delegation in Congress. See, e.g., JE 31 at 25.On January 16, 2024, the first day of the 2024 legislative session,Senator Womack introduced his bill to the Senate and Governmental AffairsCommittee. See generally JE 29 (transcript of committee meeting). In hisopening statement, Senator Womack averred that “[t]he boundaries in thisbill I'm proposing ensure that Congresswoman Letlow remains bothunimpaired with any other incumbents and in a congressional district thatshould continue to elect a Republican to Congress for the remainder of thisdecade." JE 29 at 1. He continued to assert that the bill ensured four safeRepublican seats and a “Louisiana Republican presence in the United StatesCongress [that] has contributed tremendously to the national discourse." JE29 at 2. He described the personal pride that resulted from the fact that thestate's congressional delegation included the Speaker of the U.S. House ofRepresentatives, Mike Johnson, and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise.Id. He went on to state that “[] his map ensures that the two of them willhave solidly Republican districts at home so that they can focus on thenational leadership that we need in Washington, DC." JE 29 at 2.42

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 103 of 135 PageID#: 4993After the bill passed to the House and Governmental AffairsCommittee for a hearing on January 18, 2024, Senator Womack stated thathe sought to protect Representatives "Scalise, as well as Johnson, Letlow,"and "Higgins." JE 31 at 25. Senator Womack left one "odd man out" of thedelegation. He directly stated that one member of the state's Republicandelegation that was not part of the “Republican team.” See id. And that onemember was Congressman Garret Graves. See id. Thus, it is convincing tocredit Senator Womack's unwavering assertions that these politicalconsiderations were the "primary driver[s]" of S.B. 8. See id.In that same committee hearing, the line of questioning shifted tocomparing S.B. 8 to the rejected S.B. 4 map proposed by Senator Ed Price ofAscension Parish and Senator Royce Duplessis of Orleans Parish. Whilecomparing his map to S.B. 4, Senator Womack agreed that his bill proposeddistricts that were less compact than S.B. 4. Id. But he attributed the lesscompact shape of District 4 in S.B. 8-which impacted District 6'scompactness—to his attempt to comply with the VRA while also protectingSpeaker Johnson and Congresswoman Letlow in North Louisiana andMajority Leader Scalise in Southeast Louisiana “[a]t the same time." See JE31 at 22–25; 31. He continued to state that his map diverged from S.B. 4'sconfiguration which he believed to threaten Congresswoman Letlow'schances of remaining in the House of Representatives. See JE 31 at 25-26.43

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 104 of 135 PageID#: 4994This is precisely because S.B. 4 proposed that District Five wouldconstitute a more compact, second majority-minority district thatenveloped Congresswoman Letlow's home precinct. 33 Trial Tr. 524(testimony of Sen. Duplessis) ("The map that I co-authored with SenatorPrice, the second majority-Black district went from Baton Rouge up tonortheast Louisiana, the Monroe area.”). Senator Womack agreed with thecharacterization that while the Legislature's Democratic caucus supportedS.B. 4 for a myriad of reasons, he offered this "political map" to protect hispersonal political interests as well as Louisiana's standing in the nationalconversation. See JE 31 at 26. In an exchange with House and GovernmentalAffairs Committee Chairman Gerald Beaullieu of Iberia Parish, SenatorWomack explained that he sought to protect the national interests of thestate's conservative majority leadership through protecting its mostestablished leaders. JE 31 at 26–27. Senator Womack declared that “[i]t'sbigger than just us," and that Louisiana's more influential members ofCongress should be protected to elevate the state based on his view of thestate's "poor position." JE 31 at 27. Before amendments were offered,Senator Womack and Chairman Beaullieu agreed that S.B. 8 was "able toaccomplish what the [Middle District of Louisiana] has ordered through[the] map, and also . . . protect[s] the political interest[s]” raised by SenatorWomack. Id.33 Trial Tr. 524 (testimony of Sen. Duplessis) (“I recall the [population] numbersbeing very similar" between S.B. 4 and S.B. 8, with “[t]he main difference between thetwo maps. . . [being] just the [ir] geographic design[s]"). Opponents of S.B. 8 suggestedthat the bill does not actually seek to protect Letlow because it "“puts too many votes inthe south" or Florida Parishes of District Five. JE 34 at 6 ("I applaud [Sen. Womack] forhaving stated that [protecting Congresswoman Letlow] is one of the objectives of thisbill, but this bill doesn't do that."). These assertions were mere conjecture that: (A)proposed no other reasonable or possible alternative map and sought to risk the probableliability after a full trial in the Middle District of Louisiana; (B) did not consider the fact44

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 105 of 135 PageID#: 4995The panel majority minimizes the political reasoning behind themap's contours but cites this exact quote from the exchange betweenChairman Beaullieu and Senator Womack as direct evidence of racialpredominance. Majority Op. 43. The panel majority ignores key pieces ofinformation from the trial record to suggest its conclusion of "racialgerrymandering,” where none exists. Regrettably, it subjugates the copiousevidence of the overarching political motives in the Legislature.Respectfully, the panel majority ignores wholesale references to partisanpolitics and incumbent protection in its direct evidence analysis, only tothrow it in as an aside before reaching its ultimate conclusion. See MajorityOp. 43. It ❝acknowledge[d]" that "race-neutral considerations factored intothe Legislature's decisions, such as the protection of incumbentrepresentatives." Majority Op. 43. It then cites trial testimony from SenatorPressly and Senator Seabaugh agreeing that protecting the Republicanleadership in Washington played a part in the legislative session. Id. (citingTrial Tr. 60, 71, 69).This narrow examination of the trial record stops short ofcorroborating whether Plaintiffs actually satisfied their burden ofdisentangling race from politics. Furthermore, the evidence the panelmajority pieces together from trial is far from the only evidence of politicalmotives adduced from the numerous fact witnesses serving in theLegislature.that the alternative maps introduced in the legislative session placed CongresswomanLetlow in far less favorable positions. See Trial Tr. 560 (testimony of Commissioner Lewis)(stating that S.B. 4 and H.B. 5 placed Congresswoman Letlow in the second majority-Blackdistrict).4545

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 106 of 135 PageID#: 4996Take for instance the trial testimony of Representative MandieLandry of Orleans Parish, who testified to the "fear among Republicans thatif they" failed to pass a map before the Robinson I trial “that the [MiddleDistrict of Louisiana] would draw one that wouldn't be as politicallyadvantageous for them." Trial Tr. 367–68. She then said the quiet part outloud that "everyone knew that" Governor Landry "wanted CongressmanGraves out." Trial Tr. 370. Her unrefuted testimony demonstrated that S.B.8 was "the Governor's bill" and that the Republican delegation's leadershipsupported it. See id. Representative Landry also noted that there were "acouple dozen bills [addressing] other issues that we understood were theGovernor's bills," each tracking an item addressed in the Governor's call fora special session. 34 Trial Tr. 371 (explaining that the Legislature was "alsodiscussing the [Louisiana] Supreme Court maps” and a bill to abolish thejungle primary system to move to "closed primaries" limited to registeredparty voters); see also JE 8 at 1-2 (calling for the Legislature to convene todraft new legislation and amendments relative to the election code,Louisiana Supreme Court districts, Congressional districts).34 The relevance of Governor Landry's involvement in S.B. 8 cannot be overstatedand is not even mentioned in a footnote by the majority. The best evidence of hisinvolvement can be gleaned from his remarks to the Legislature at the opening of the2024 Extraordinary Legislative Session. To assert that the Louisiana Legislatureconfronted this redistricting issue solely at the behest of the district court is plainlyunsupported based on the Governor's statements and contradicts the language of ArticleIII, § 6 of the Louisiana Constitution which states that “the legislature shall reapportionthe representation in each house as equally as practicable on the basis of populationshown by the census." Governor Landry—a lawyer, a former Congressman of District 3,and the former Attorney General of Louisiana who "did everything [he] could to disposeof [the Robinson] litigation," and who was well aware of the redistricting process-seizedthe initiative and called upon the Legislature to exercise its sovereign prerogative (andthe legislative obligation) to draw the map. During his remarks, when he stated that thedistrict court handed down an order, he specified that the order was for the Legislatureto “perform our job... our job that our own laws direct us to complete, and our job that4646

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 107 of 135 PageID#: 4997From Representative Landry's time in the House Chamber duringprior legislative sessions and the 2024 legislative session, she noted"hundreds" of discussions with House Republicans that made clear that anylegislation that contradicted the political dynamics around S.B. 8 were non-starters. Trial Tr. 375. Representative Landry testified that these politicaldiscussions "had been going on since the Governor was elected among usand [in] the media" and "increased [in frequency] as we got closer to [theGovernor's] inauguration.” Trial Tr. 370-71.our individual oaths promise we would perform." JE 35 at 10. He continued by assertingthat "[w]e do not need a federal judge to do for us what the people of Louisiana haveelected you to do for them. You are the voice of the people, and it is time that you usethat voice. The people have sent us here to solve problems, not to exacerbate them, toheal divisions, not to widen them.” JE 35 at 11.47

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 108 of 135 PageID#: 4998Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Davante Lewis also testifiedat trial as to the overarching, dominant political objectives of the 2024legislative redistricting session. With years of experience working in thestate capitol as a legislative aide, lobbyist, and elected official, he providedample evidence of what transpired during the 2024 legislative session. TrialTr. 562 (stating that he “knew the entire [Senate] committee” because he"had worked with them" in the Legislature for "over eight years”).Commissioner Lewis explained that there were two other redistricting mapsthat did not advance to the full floor for votes: S.B. 4, sponsored by SenatorsPrice and Duplessis, and H.B. 5, sponsored by Representative Marcelle. TrialTr. 560. He stated that both of those maps placed Congresswoman Letlowin the second majority-Black congressional district, with CongressmanGraves in a safe Republican seat. See Trial Tr. 560 ("Q. How many majorityblack districts were in the map[s]? A. Two. Q. Who currently representsthose districts? A. It would be Congressman Carter and CongresswomanLetlow."); Trial Tr. 524 (“The main difference between the two maps ... wasjust the geographic design of the map.").Commissioner Lewis recounted that he testified in favor of S.B. 4before the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee on January 16,2024. Trial Tr. 560-61. He testified that S.B. 4 did not advance out ofcommittee on that day. Trial Tr. 563. He stated that the vote "came downon party lines," and that “[a]ll Republicans voted against it." Trial Tr. 563.From this testimony, it is safe to say that more compact bills that includedtwo majority-Black districts but did not protect the right Republicanincumbents were effectively dead on arrival.A clear example of this sentiment in action in the legislative recordcomes from Representative Marcelle's statements in front of the House andGovernmental Affairs Committee on January 17, 2024. Less than twenty-4848

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 109 of 135 PageID#: 4999four hours after S.B. 4 was shot down in committee on purely partisan lines,Representative Marcelle voluntarily pulled H.B. 5 from consideration. Shestated that her reasons for doing so were based on "knowing what thepolitics are at play." JE 37 at 6. She further stated that any "[b]ill that wasvery similar” to H.B. 5 and S.B. 4 would “probably never make it to thefloor." JE 37 at 6.35Senator Duplessis's trial testimony provides even more contextdating back to the initial 2022 legislative redistricting session. As a memberof the House and Governmental Affairs for that session, Senator Duplessis"traveled for months across the state and conducted roadshows andlistened to the community" to assess what they would like to see in theredistricting process.³ Trial Tr. 513-14. He witnessed countlessperspectives from voters across the state that called for fair maps thatwould reflect the state's population and comply with the VRA. See Trial Tr.515. Recalling the session that followed the roadshow process, SenatorDuplessis explained that legislation featuring an electoral map that includedtwo majority-Black districts were "all voted down" in committee. Trial Tr.515. In spite of the populace's clear expression for the Legislature to passfair maps 36 the Legislature ultimately chose H.B. 1. He continued to explain35 See, e.g., Power Coalition, Legislative Redistricting Roadshow Comes toAlexandria on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, (Nov. 9, 2021), Indeed, the Legislature's deliberative process was informed by communityperspectives that demonstrated the unity of interests behind an electoral map thatincluded two majority-Black districts. This sharply contrasts with the situation in Vera. See861 F. Supp. at 1334 ("The final result seems not one in which the people select theirrepresentatives, but in which the representatives have selected the people."). Membersof both major political parties in the Legislature attended the nearly dozen roadshowsacross the state and heard this ubiquitous message.4949

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 110 of 135 PageID#: 5000that the Legislature convened for a special redistricting session in June 2022after the preliminary injunction decision in Robinson I. Trial Tr. 517. Hetestified that several bills introduced in that special session would havecomplied with the VRA as ordered by the Middle District of Louisiana andadhered to traditional districting principles. Trial Tr. 518. Ultimately, nonewere adopted in that session for the same reasons that S.B. 4 and H.B. 5failed; they were not supported by the Governor and the Republicandelegation's leadership.Senator Duplessis further contended that the Governor's influenceover S.B. 8 led to its quick passage in the Legislature. Trial Tr. 525. Notingthe Governor's position "coming off an election with no runoff," SenatorDuplessis testified that “[the Governor's] support would have a lot ofinfluence on what does and doesn't get passed." Trial Tr. 525. He stated thatafter Senator Womack's bill was filed "it became clear that that was the mapthat Governor Landry would support." Id. He continued to state that onedoes not "have to be a redistricting expert to know that any time a new mapis drawn," that “[t]here is going to be someone who is negatively impactedfrom an incumbency standpoint." Id. On the floor of the Legislature duringthe 2024 session, Senator Duplessis noted that Senators Womack and Stineconsistently talked about “the importance of protecting certain electedofficials." JE 30 at 20; Trial Tr. 527. When questioned about this statementat trial, he stated that "the political decision was made to protect certainmembers of Congress and to not protect one member of Congress and thatit was clear that that member was going to be Congressman Garret Graves."Trial Tr. 527.After the floor was open to amendments to S.B. 8 in the House andGovernmental Affairs Committee, Senator Womack and RepresentativeMichael Johnson of Rapides Parish noted that S.B. 8 was not drafted "in a50

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 111 of 135 PageID#: 5001vacuum" and that the congressional map would affect people in SenatorWomack's own State Senate district. JE 31 at 45–46. Senator Womackaccepted that while some Republicans may give him "a lot of heat" for thedecision to draw a map that included two majority-minority districts, heagreed with Representative Johnson that S.B. 8 “present[s] a map thatachieves all the necessary requirements [of a valid map] and . . . [is] the bestinstrument that [he] could come up with." JE 31 at 46.Thus, the legislative record in this case reveals the true "dominantand controlling" factors driving the adopted map's boundaries. See Miller,515 U.S. at 913One such factor was the need to protect every member ofLouisiana's Republican delegation in the U.S. House of Representativesexcept for Congressman Graves. That was the criterion that "could not becompromised." See Bethune-Hill, 580 U.S. at 189 (quotation omitted). Onthis point, not even S.B. 8's detractors—either at trial or during thelegislative session-attempted to debunk or attack this offered rationale.See Trial Tr. 71 (testimony of Sen. Pressly) ("There were certainly discussions[in the Republican Delegation] on ensuring” that Speaker Johnson, MajorityLeader Scalise, and Congresswoman Letlow were protected); Trial Tr. 76-77(agreeing that a “Republican would be likely to lose in a second majority-Black district" like the other maps proposed in the Legislature); Trial Tr. 61(testimony of Sen. Seabaugh). With all of this context, it becomes indeliblyclear that Governor Landry's and the Republican delegation's decisions toprotect Speaker Johnson, Majority Leader Scalise, and CongresswomanLetlow and cut out Congressman Graves shows that political motivations"could not be compromised" during the redistricting process. See Bethune-Hill, 580 U.S. at 189. Thus, the overwhelming evidence of the goal ofincumbency protection in the legislative record shows that Plaintiffs have51

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 112 of 135 PageID#: 5002failed to meet their burden to prove racial predominance in this "mixedmotive" case, as required by Supreme Court precedent.5252

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 113 of 135 PageID#: 5003b. Other Traditional Redistricting Principles Respected in S.B. 8The evidence in the record as to the communities of interestcontained within S.B. 8 substantially undermines the assertion that racepredominated in the bill's drafting. The Supreme Court has warned that“where the State assumes from a group of voters' race that they ‘think alike,share the same political interests, and will prefer the same candidates atthe polls,' it engages in racial stereotyping at odds with equal protectionmandates." Miller, 515 U.S. at 920. Notably, this record is flush withcommunity of interest evidence that rebuts the allegations of racialstereotyping. See Theriot, 185 F.3d at 485.There are tangible communities of interest spanning District 6. Thepanel majority cannot plausibly conclude that the evidence compels adetermination that there are no tangible communities of interest containedin District 6. Unlike in Miller in which the Court was presented with acomprehensive report illustrating the fractured political, social, andeconomic interests within the district's Black population, this court was onlypresented with trial testimony subject to credibility determinations. Miller,515 U.S. at 919.5353

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 114 of 135 PageID#: 5004"A district may lack compactness or contiguity-due, for example, togeographic or demographic reasons-yet still serve the traditionaldistricting goal of joining communities of interest." Cromartie I, 526 U.S. at555 n. (Stevens, J., concurring). A determination that race played apredominant role-over incumbency protection, communities of interest,compactness, and contiguity—is crucial to Plaintiffs' case. However, thePlaintiffs rely on this court solving every conflict of fact in their favor andaccepting their inferences in order to hold that they have satisfied theirburden of proof. The Court has advised courts that “[w]here there are suchconflicting inferences one group of them cannot, be[] labeled as 'prima facieproof."" Wright v. Rockefeller, 376 U.S. 52, 57 (1964). If one inference wereto be "treated as conclusive on the fact finder," it would "deprive him of hisresponsibility to choose among disputed inferences. And this is truewhether the conflicting inferences are drawn from evidence offered by theplaintiff or by the defendant or by both.” Id. The record does not supportthe panel majority's view that Plaintiffs' evidence has established a primafacie case compelling this panel, despite conflicting inferences which couldbe drawn from that evidence, to hold that the State drew S.B. 8 solely onthe basis of race. See id.5454

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 115 of 135 PageID#: 5005The panel majority clings to rationales from Hays, averring that itsdescriptions of cultural divides are still true today. It bears repeating that―considering the long passage of time and trends of cultural integration overthe last few decades-it is unreasonable and untenable for this court toconclude "much of the local appraisal analysis from Hays I remainsrelevant to an analysis of S.B.8." See Majority Op. at 53–54. Citing the map'sdivisions of the Acadiana region, the majority contends that S.B. 8 "fails totake into account Louisiana's diverse cultural, religious, and sociallandscape in any meaningful way." Majority Op. 55 n.11. But the panelmajority's narrow view rooted from its cursory consultation of selectcultural historical sources and Hays sharply conflicts with decades ofelectoral history.5555

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 116 of 135 PageID#: 5006Several witnesses that testified in this case stated that Louisiana'spolitical subdivisions and geographical and cultural hotspots are routinelysplit in different electoral districts. Instead of evaluating it based on theevidence in this case, the panel majority condemns S.B. 8 for its multipledivisions of the "strong cultural and ethnic groups" in the Acadiana area. 37At first glance, the panel majority's aim is noble and sensible. But thecomplexity of relationships between populations within the Acadiana area,as well as its geographic composition, do not promote one unitarycommunity of interest. In 1971, the Louisiana Legislature passed aresolution officially recognizing and protecting the "traditional twenty-twoparish Cajun homeland."." 38 The Acadiana Delegation in the Legislatureprovides the following map of Acadiana and segments the often referred-to Cajun Heartland (in darker red) from the rest of Acadiana. 33937 The panel majority also paints with a broad brush to describe the region, butit* high-level discussion assumes that two distinctive cultures that have learned how tolive harmoniously in a large shared geographic region morphs those distinctivecommunities into a hom*ogenous, unitary community of interest. Cajun and Creolepopulations have different histories, languages, food, and music. In my view, theintriguing relationship between Cajuns and Creoles may lend itself to noting that they donot neatly fit into a unitary community of interest. Somewhat respecting this notion, theLegislature has consistently segmented the Acadiana area into multiple congressionaldistricts over the past few decades.38 AcadianaLegislative Delegation, (last visited April 29, 2024),, sometimes%20also%20Evangeline%20and%20St.39 Id. ("Acadiana often is applied only to Lafayette Parish and several neighboringparishes, usually Acadia, Iberia, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Vermilion parishes, andsometimes also Evandeling and St. Mary; this eight-parish area, however, is actually the'Cajun Heartland, USA' district, which makes up only about a third of the entire Acadianaregion.").5656

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 117 of 135 PageID#: 5007Under the delegation's definition, the Acadiana parishes containportions of three of the state's five major population centers: Lake Charles,Lafayette, and the outskirts of Baton Rouge. 40 Acadiana stretches from themarsh lands in St. Mary Parish all the way up to Avoyelles Parish in the RedRiver Basin. Importantly, the majority ignores the fact that the twenty-twoparishes that lie within this corner of the state have been segmented intomultiple single-member congressional districts since the 1970s. 41The following map demonstrates the congressional districts for themajority of the 1970s. Notably it splits Acadiana into three congressionaldistricts:40 See id.41 Even if the panel majority restricts its description of Acadiana into the "CajunHeartland" parishes, see supra n.40, it also cannot account for the fact these have beenroutinely split into multiple congressional districts for decades. The following maps areretrieved from shapefile data compiled and organized by professors from the Universityof California at Los Angeles. Jeffrey B. Lewis, Brandon DeVine, Lincoln Pitcher, & KennethC. Martis, Digital Boundary Definitions of United States Congressional Districts, 1789-2012(2013) (datafile and code book generating district overlays),

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 118 of 135 PageID#: 5008LOUISIANAMISSISSIPPIJacksonHaftesbLikeChatsLafayethGulfport bNewContinuing to the 1980s, the Legislature continued to segmentAcadiana for another decade:LOUISIANA58596MISSISSIPPIJacksonHabGupon

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 119 of 135 PageID#: 5009Even the congressional districts drawn by the Hays panel were nodifferent on this front, also splitting up the Acadiana area into multipledistricts:42MANAAbs andisMISSISSIPPIJacksonHabebeEaton RoCharlesLafayetteGuportNew OrleNeither did the congressional districts enacted after the turn of themillennium keep Acadiana whole: 43MISSISSIPPIMowJacksonAkinandaHabbuaton RoChalmLafayetleGuport hNew Cri42 936 F. Supp. 360, 372 (W.D. La. 1996) (“The State of Louisiana is directed toimplement the redistricting plan drawn by this court and ordered implemented in HaysII.”). The judicially created map split Acadiana into districts 3, 5, 6, and 7.43 See Act 10, H.B. 2 (2001) (splitting Acadiana into four congressional districts).5959

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 120 of 135 PageID#: 5010Another decade passes, and the Legislature carves up Acadiana oncemore. The Legislature continued this trend after the 2010 census. Theelectoral map enacted in 201144 likewise split Acadiana into four districts:UitsSatireUncolnBlJacksonRapidesFangersBardAlCatchatLa SalkLondf*ckkPodaCalcasJun Cavia2 MLabelleCancanWCamFDWeEFTUglTemaryIf the majority's formulation is correct, then none of these maps,including H.B. 1 (depicted below), 45 had adequately accounted forLouisiana's diverse cultural landscape in any meaningful way.44 Act 2, H.B. 6 (2011) (same).45districts).Act 5, H.B. 1 (2022) (dividing Acadiana into four single-member congressional6060

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 121 of 135 PageID#: 5011Dr SebRenderEngeleScanAvayhandPonte CLaneyCarrelL.CarolFTersalSt.St. TammanyFlagThus, dating back decades, it is safe to say Acadiana has been acommunity that is “not unaccustomed to splitting” in order to achieve avariety of other goals in Congressional reapportionment. Cf. Theriot, 185F.3d at 483; Theriot v. Parish of Jefferson, 966 F. Supp. 1435, 1444 (E.D. La.1997). For this reason, S.B. 8's division of Acadiana cannot persuasively beinterpreted to prove that race predominated in its drafting. See H.B. 1, Act5 (2022) (dividing the Acadiana region into four Congressional districts); H.B.6, Act 2 (2011) (doing the same). Absent from the majority's analysis isdiscussion of precedent making clear that an electoral map that splits acommunity of interest is not strong evidence of racial predominance if thecommunity is accustomed to being split into multiple districts. Cf. Theriot,185 F.3d at 485. Furthermore, the legislative record in this case shows thatthe Legislature considered a number of other communities of interest andapportioned them appropriately into single-member districts.44646See also supra notes 21-26.61

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 122 of 135 PageID#: 5012Here is what the record demonstrates as to the communities ofinterest factor. In testimony before the House and Governmental AffairsCommittee, Senator Womack and numerous other members of theLouisiana House of Representatives noted that District 6 in S.B. 8 containednumerous communities of interest. Representative Larvadain of RapidesParish noted that District 6 respected regional education and employmentinterests, noting that Rapides area residents lie within a "community ofinterest with Natchitoches and Caddo" parishes. JE 31 at 21. He furthernoted that residents of Point Coupee Parish in District 6, which lies almostmidway between Opelousas and Baton Rouge, utilize health systemsservices and hospitals in Saint Landry Parish's more densely populated seatof Opelousas. JE 31 at 21-22. As another note, S.B. 8's District 4 containsthe two major military bases in the state under the watch of the mostpowerful member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Speaker Johnson.Trial Tr. 384 (noting that assets like military bases, along with colleges oruniversities are information that legislators and electoral demographersconsider as communities of interest).The majority does not grapple with any of this. Instead, it clingstightly to Mr. Hefner's dot density map and testimony on the contours ofthe district's lines in certain areas instead of truly examining whetherPlaintiffs had disentangled politics and race to prove that the latter droveDistrict 6's lines. See Cromartie I, 526 U.S. at 546; Theriot, 185 F.3d at 486("Our review of the record leads us to conclude that the inclusion orexclusion of communities was inexorably tied to issues of incumbency.").Thus, the majority cannot convincingly hold that Plaintiffs have met theirburden of debunking the State's “political motivation" defense.62

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 123 of 135 PageID#: 5013III. Strict ScrutinyIn my view, the panel majority adopts an incomplete interpretationof the legislative record and inconsistent circ*mstantial evidence to holdthat S.B. 8 constitutes a racial gerrymander. Following that determination,the panel majority asserts that S.B. 8 fails strict scrutiny. Notwithstandingmy writings above that demonstrate that S.B. 8 does not constitute animpermissible racial gerrymander, I now explain how the majority's secondmajor determination also lacks a substantial basis in the record.A. Compliance with the VRA is a Compelling State InterestTo survive an equal protection challenge to an election redistrictingplan which considers race as a factor, the state must show that itsredistricting plan was enacted in pursuit of a compelling state interest andthat the plan's boundaries are narrowly tailored to achieve that compellinginterest. See Vera, 517 U.S. at 958–59. In my view, it is clear that the Statehas satisfied its burden in demonstrating that District 6's boundaries in S.B.8 were created pursuant to a compelling state interest and were narrowlytailored to achieve that interest.It is axiomatic that "compliance with § 2 of the Voting Rights Actconstitutes a compelling governmental interest." See Clark v. Calhoun Cnty.,88 F.3d 1393, 1405 (5th Cir. 1996); Cooper, 581 U.S. at 301. Furthermore,the Supreme Court has consistently made clear that “a State indisputablyhas a compelling interest in preserving the integrity of its election process."Brnovich v. Dem. Nat'l Comm., 141 S. Ct. 2321, 2347 (2021) (quoting Purcellv. Gonzalez, 549 U.S. 1, 4 (2006) (per curiam) (internal quotation marksomitted)).In the face of this, Plaintiffs argue that compliance with the VRA isnot a compelling governmental interest based on this record. Plaintiffs6363

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 124 of 135 PageID#: 5014categorize the State's decision to settle the Robinson matter by calling aspecial session to draw new maps as "pretrial court-watching" insufficientto constitute "a compelling interest to justify race-based line drawing."Plaintiffs' Br. 14. They contend that the State's reliance on the VRA is basedon the Attorney General's "calculated guess" on how the Middle Districtwould rule, rather than an independent analysis of H.B. 1's performanceunder the VRA. Plaintiffs point to the Attorney General's responses toquestioning during an information session before the 2024 LegislativeSession formally opened in the morning hours of January 16, 2024, tosupport the theory that the Legislature did not truly consider VRAcompliance in deciding to promulgate S.B. 8. Plaintiffs' Br. 15. Alternatively,they assert that the VRA is merely a "post-hoc justification []" offered by theState to avoid liability. See Bethune-Hill, 580 U.S. at 190.None of these arguments are persuasive. The State has pointed to acompelling state interest recognized by binding Supreme Court precedent.See Cooper, 581 U.S. at 292, 301; Shaw II, 517 U.S. at 915. I now proceed toaddress narrow tailoring as the State has sufficiently established a strongbasis in evidence underlying its redistricting decisions.B. Strong Basis In EvidenceThe State argues that it had good reasons to believe that it had todraw a majority-minority district to avoid liability for vote dilution under §2 of the VRA. See Ala. Legis. Black Caucus v. Alabama, 575 U.S. 254, 278(2015) (holding that legislators "may have a strong basis in evidence to useracial classifications in order to comply with a statute when they have goodreasons to believe such use is required, even if a court does not find thatthe actions were necessary for statutory compliance"); Cooper, 581 U.S. at287 ("If a State has good reason to think that all three of these [Gingles]conditions are met, then so too it has good reason to believe that § 264

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 125 of 135 PageID#: 5015requires drawing a majority-minority district. But if not, then not.").Moreover, the Court has emphasized that as part of the strict scrutinyinquiry "a court's analysis of the narrow tailoring requirement insists onlythat the legislature have a 'strong basis in evidence' in support of the (race-based) choice that it has made." Ala. Legis. Black Caucus, 575 U.S. at 278. Inessence, the Court has indicated that the State must establish a strong basisin evidence for concluding that the threshold Gingles conditions for § 2liability are present, namely:First, "that [the minority group] is sufficiently large andgeographically compact to constitute majority in a singlemember district"; second, "that it is politically cohesive"; andthird, "that the white majority votes sufficiently as a bloc toenable it . . . usually to defeat the minority's preferredcandidate."Vera, 517 U.S. at 978 (quoting Thornburg v. Gingles, 478 U.S. 30, 50–51,(1986)) (internal citation omitted).The majority errs in asserting that the State has not met its burdenhere. See Majority Op. at 51. Markedly, the majority has incorrectlyarticulated the State's burden as requiring it to show that the contesteddistrict, District 6, satisfies the first Gingles factor. The Supreme Court hasalready directed that the first Gingles condition "refers to the compactnessof the minority population [in the state], not to the compactness of thecontested district." League of United Latin Am. Citizens v. Perry, 548 U.S.399, 433 (2006) ("LULAC”) (quoting Vera, 517 U.S. at 997 (Kennedy, J.,concurring))). As such, the State's actual burden is to show that the firstGingles condition-the Black population is sufficiently large andgeographically compact to constitute a majority in a single-memberdistrict is present so as to establish that it had a strong basis in evidencefor concluding that its remedial action to draw a new map was required.65

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 126 of 135 PageID#: 5016Cooper, 581 U.S. at 287; Vera, 517 U.S. at 978. "If a State has good reasonto think that all the Gingles preconditions are met, then so too it has goodreason to believe that § 2 requires drawing a majority-minority district."Cooper, 581 U.S. at 302 (internal quotation marks omitted).The Black population's numerosity and reasonable compactnesswithin the state must first be established as required by Gingles. Cooper,581 U.S. at 301; Allen v. Milligan, 599 U.S. 1, 19 (2023). To satisfy the firstGingles precondition, plaintiffs often submit illustrative maps to establishreasonable compactness for purposes of the first Gingles requirement.Milligan, 599 U.S. at 33 ("Plaintiffs adduced at least one illustrative map thatcomported with our precedents. They were required to do no more tosatisfy the first step of Gingles.”). As such, courts evaluate whether theillustrative plans demonstrate reasonable compactness when viewedthrough the lens of “traditional districting principles such as maintainingcommunities of interest and traditional boundaries." LULAC, 548 U.S. at 433(internal quotation marks omitted). With respect to the first Ginglesprecondition, in Robinson I, the Middle District of Louisiana found both (1)that Black voters could constitute a majority in a second district in Louisianaand (2) that a second district could be reasonably configured in the state.Robinson I, 605 F. Supp. 3d at 820-31; see Milligan, 599 U.S. at 19. FollowingMilligan's lead, the Robinson I court analyzed example districting maps thatLouisiana could enact-each of which contained two majority-Black districtsthat comported with traditional districting criteria-to conclude that asecond majority-minority district could be formulated from Louisiana'sdemographics. Robinson I, 605 F. Supp. 3d at 822-31; see Milligan, 599 20.Because the Middle District of Louisiana had thoroughly conducted aGingles analysis, the State had good reasons to believe (1) that the Gingles9966

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 127 of 135 PageID#: 5017threshold conditions for § 2 liability were all present and (2) that it wasconceivable to draw two majority-minority congressional districts thatsatisfy the first prong of Gingles while adhering to traditional redistrictingprinciples. The Robinson I court's thorough analysis that the plaintiffs weresubstantially likely to prevail on the merits of their §2 claim providedpowerful evidence and analysis supporting the State's strong basis inevidence claim that the VRA requires two majority-Black districts. Cf.Wisconsin Legis. v. Wis. Elections Comm'n, 595 U.S. 398, 403 (2022) (holdingthat the Governor failed to carry his burden because he "provided almostno other evidence or analysis supporting his claim that the VRA required theseven majority-black districts that he drew"). The majority points to noprecedent requiring the State to reestablish or embark on an independentinquiry regarding the numerosity and reasonable compactness ofLouisiana's Black population after an Article III judge has already carefullyevaluated that evidence in a preliminary injunction proceeding. Id. at 410(Sotomayor, J., dissenting) ("The Court points to no precedent requiring acourt conducting a malapportionment analysis to embark on anindependent inquiry into matters that the parties have conceded or notcontested, like the Gingles preconditions here.").Notably, both the majority and the Robinson I court would agree thatwhere the record reflects that the Black population is dispersed then § 2does not require a majority-minority district. Compare 605 F. Supp. 3d at826 (“If the minority population is too dispersed to create a reasonablyconfigured majority-minority district, [§ 2] does not require such a district.")(internal citation and quotation marks omitted), with Majority Op. at 51("The record reflects that, outside of southeast Louisiana, the Blackpopulation is dispersed."). But it was the Robinson I court that was providedwith an extensive record-particularly extensive for a preliminary67

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 128 of 135 PageID#: 5018injunction proceeding-regarding the numerosity and geographiccompactness of Louisiana's Black population. And this court should notdeconstruct or revise that finding. Despite the majority's suggestion thatthe "[instant] record reflects that, outside of southeast Louisiana, the Blackpopulation is dispersed," this record makes no such certitude. See MajorityOp. at 51.Likewise, the Supreme Court has been clear that compactness in theequal protection context, "which concerns the shape or boundaries of adistrict, differs from § 2 compactness, which concerns a minority group'scompactness." LULAC, 548 U.S. at 433 (quoting Abrams v. Johnson, 521 U.S.74, 111 (1997)). “In the equal protection context, compactness focuses onthe contours of district lines to determine whether race was thepredominant factor in drawing those lines." Id. (citing Miller, 515 U.S. at916-17). The inquiry under § 2 is whether “the minority group isgeographically compact.” Id. (quoting Shaw II, 517 U.S. at 916) (internalquotation marks omitted).The instant case is about an asserted equal protection violation. Thefully developed trial record substantiates District 6's compactness as itrelates to traditional redistricting factors. Conversely, Robinson I and itsassociated record are about a vote dilution violation. In essence, the recordin Robinson I is replete with evidence concerning the inquiry under § 2 intowhether the minority group is geographically compact. Robinson I, 605 F.Supp. 3d at 826. The Robinson I court correctly determined that "[t]herelevant question is whether the population is sufficiently compact to makeup a second majority-minority congressional district in a certain area of thestate." Robinson I, 605 F. Supp. 3d at 826. And that is the determination thatthe Middle District of Louisiana made. Equipped with expert testimonyregarding the numerosity and reasonable compactness of the Black8868

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 129 of 135 PageID#: 5019population in Louisiana, the Robinson I court made a finding that the "Blackpopulation in Louisiana is heterogeneously distributed." 605 F. Supp. 3d at826. In Robinson I, the court determined that “[p]laintiffs havedemonstrated that they are substantially likely to prove that Black votersare sufficiently 'geographically compact' to constitute a majority in a secondcongressional district." Robinson I, 605 F. Supp. 3d at 822. It would beunreasoned and inappropriate for this court-without the benefit of arecord relevant to vote dilution—to now post hoc suggest that Black votersare not sufficiently "geographically compact" and thus overrule theRobinson I court's finding.After determining that the previously enacted redistricting plan, H.B.1, likely violated § 2, the Middle District of Louisiana did not impose aparticular map or course of action on the State. Id. at 857 ("The State . . . isnot required to [use one of plaintiffs' illustrative plans], nor must it ‘drawthe precise compact district that a court would impose in a successful § 2challenge.""). Rather, the Robinson I court highlighted that the Stateretained "broad discretion in drawing districts to comply with the mandateof § 2." Id. (quoting Shaw II, 517 U.S. at 917 n.9). It emphasized the State'snumerous options for a path forward, namely that the State could "elect touse one of Plaintiffs' illustrative plans" or "adopt its own remedial map."The State chose the latter. At the same time, the Robinson I court cautionedthe State to respect its own traditional districting principles and to remaincognizant of the reasonableness of its fears and efforts to avoid § 2 liability.Id. (quoting Vera, 517 U.S. at 978).Although District 6 was not present in any of the illustrative mapssubmitted to satisfy the first Gingles factor in Robinson I, the State hasshown that as a remedial plan District 6 is reasonably compact when viewedthrough the lens of “traditional districting principles such as maintaining6969

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 130 of 135 PageID#: 5020communities of interest and traditional boundaries." LULAC, 548 U.S. at 433(internal quotation marks omitted). 47 Recall that a “§ 2 district that isreasonably compact and regular, taking into account traditional districtingprinciples such as maintaining communities of interest and traditionalboundaries, may pass strict scrutiny without having to defeat rival compactdistricts designed by plaintiffs' experts in endless beauty contests." Vera,517 U.S. at 977.Make no mistake-the "special session [called by Governor Landry]was convened as a direct result of [] litigation, Robinson v. Landry." JE36 at6. Certainly, some state legislators colloquially characterized the genesis ofthe special session by expressing that "we've been ordered by the court thatwe draw congressional district with two minority districts." JE36 at 4 (Sen.Ed Price). But, while some state legislators conversationally expressed that"we are now in 2024 trying to resolve this matter at the direction of thecourt," all legislators formally and collectively understood the redistrictingprocess to have begun in the fall of 2021 "where [the Legislature] began[the] process going to every corner of this state on the roadshow, northeast,northwest, southeast, southwest, central Louisiana, all throughout thisstate.” JE36 at 4 (Sen. Royce Duplessis). Most of these senators—with theexception of two newly elected senators—were involved in the redistrictingprocess when it began more than two years before the January 2024 specialsession, in the fall of 2021. Trial Tr. 545 (noting that except for only twonewly-elected state senators to the 2024 Legislature, "the rest of the Senateserv[ed] for the full duration of the redistricting process following the 2020census").47 See supra Part II.A-B.770

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 131 of 135 PageID#: 5021As mentioned above, the testimony and evidence show that thelegislators gave careful thought when identifying and assessingcommunities of interest; strategizing incumbency protection; calculatinghow often maps split parishes, census places (or municipalities), andlandmarks, and measuring and comparing compactness scores. Althoughthe impetus for the special session was litigation, the record confirms thatthe legislators considered traditional redistricting criteria in drawing andamending the maps. During the January 2024 special session, the legislatorscontinuously cited "redistricting criteria, including those embodied in theLegislature's Joint Rule 21" as foremost in their minds while promulgating,drafting, and voting on S.B. 8.48 As discussed, the record illustrates that thelegislators balanced all the relevant principles, including those described inJoint Rule 21, without letting any single factor dominate their redistrictingprocess.To further imprint that the State had a strong basis in evidence forfinding that the Gingles preconditions for § 2 liability were present, Iexamine the remainder of the Gingles factors. See Vera, 517 U.S. at 978.Louisiana electoral history provided evidence to support the remainingGingles prerequisites. The second Gingles factor asks whether Black votersare "politically cohesive." The court determines whether Black voters48 Moreover, Patricia Lowrey-Dufour, Senior Legislative Analyst to the House andGovernmental Affairs Committee, presented an oral "101" orientation about theredistricting process. Specifically, she provided an overview of redistricting terms,concepts, and law, redistricting criteria, the 2020 census population and populationtrends, malapportionment statistics, and illustrative maps. Moreover, Ms. Lowrey-Dufourdirected legislators to "a plethora of resources available on the redistricting website ofthe legislature.” In other words, the confection of these redistricting plans did not occurin a vacuum. S.B. 8 was adopted as part of a process that began with the decennial and inwhich legislators were immensely informed of their duties and responsibilities. JE28 at 3-11.7114

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 132 of 135 PageID#: 5022usually support the same candidate in elections irrespective of thecontested district. The third Gingles factor requires an inquiry into whetherWhite voters in Louisiana vote “sufficiently as a bloc to usually defeat [Blackvoters'] preferred candidate." Again, the court makes this determinationunrelatedly of the contested district. Relying on a record that establishedracially polarized voting patterns in the state of Louisiana, the State had astrong basis in evidence for finding that the second and third Gingles factorswere present.Further, the Middle District of Louisiana court analyzed "the SenateFactors... and then turned to the proportionality issue." Robinson I, 605 F.Supp. at 844. By evaluating the Senate Factors, 49 the Robinson | courtdetermined that the plaintiffs had “established that they are substantiallylikely to prevail in showing that the totality of the circ*mstances weighs intheir favor." 605 F. Supp. at 844-51. Lastly, when evaluating theproportionality factor, the Middle District of Louisiana concluded that the"Black representation under the enacted plan is not proportional to theBlack share of population in Louisiana . . . Although Black Louisianans makeup 33.13% of the total population and 31.25% of the voting age population,they comprise a majority in only 17% of Louisiana's congressional districts."Id. at 851. Thus, each of the three Gingles prerequisites was sufficientlyestablished.In sum, not only did the State have a strong basis in evidence forbelieving that it needed a majority-minority district in order to avoid liabilityunder § 2 but-in drafting the remedial plan-it also ensured that its49 The Senate Report of the Senate Judiciary Committee-which accompanied the1982 amendments to the VRA-specifies factors ("Senate Factors") that are typicallyrelevant to a § 2 claim and elaborate on the proof required to establish § 2 violations. SeeGingles, 478 U.S. at 43-44.72

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 133 of 135 PageID#: 5023proposed redistricting plan met the traditional redistricting criteria and wasgeographically compact so as to not offend the VRA. See Shaw II, 517 916–17 (rejecting the argument that "once a legislature has a strong basisin evidence for concluding that a § 2 violation exists in the State, it may drawa majority-minority district anywhere, even if the district is in no waycoincident with the compact Gingles district”). Thus, District 6, as drawn, is"narrowly tailored."Shaw II recognizes that: (1) the State may not draw a majority-minority district "anywhere [in the state] if there is a strong basis inevidence for concluding that a § 2 violation exists somewhere in the Stateand (2) "once a violation of the statute is shown[,] States retain broaddiscretion in drawing districts to comply with the mandate of § 2.” Shaw II,517 U.S. at 901, 917 n.9. Citing Shaw II, the Robinson I court made nodetermination that a district should be drawn just anywhere in the state.605 F. Supp. 3d at 857-58. Nor did the State seek to embark on such anendeavor. Rather, the Robinson I court afforded the State "a reasonableopportunity for the legislature to meet [applicable federal legal]requirements by adopting a substitute measure rather than for the federalcourt to devise and order into effect its own plan.” Wise v. Lipscomb, 437U.S. 535, 540 (1978) (citing Burns v. Richardson, 384 U.S. 73, 85 (1966)).Because the Supreme Court has emphasized "[t]ime and again" that"reapportionment is primarily the duty and responsibility of the Statethrough its legislature or other body, rather than of a federal court," thisthree-judge panel should not usurp the State's efforts to narrowly tailor itsreapportionment scheme. See Voinovich v. Quilter, 507 U.S. 146, 156(1993). Under the Burns rule, "a State's freedom of choice to devisesubstitutes [or remedial plans] for an apportionment plan [that was] foundunconstitutional . . . should not be restricted beyond the clear commands73

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 134 of 135 PageID#: 5024of the Equal Protection Clause." Lipscomb, 437 U.S. at 536–37; Burns, 384U.S. at 85.Far from a map "drawn anywhere" in the state simply because "thereis a strong basis in evidence for concluding that a § 2 violation existssomewhere in the State," District 6 reasonably remedies potential § 2violations because (1) the Black population was shown to be "geographicallycompact" to establish § 2 liability, Gingles, 478 U.S. at 50, and (2) District 6complies with “traditional districting principles such as compactness,contiguity, and respect for political subdivisions," See Miller, 515 U.S. at 919.Shaw II, 517 U.S. at 900. For the foregoing reasons, I would hold thatbecause S.B. 8 is narrowly tailored to further the State's compellinginterests in complying with § 2 of the VRA, it survives strict scrutiny and istherefore constitutional.IV. ConclusionThe panel's mandate in this case was clear: Plaintiffs needed to proveby a preponderance of the evidence that race predominated in the drawingof the district lines found in S.B. 8. The panel majority, relying on decades-old case law with antiquated observations, and by giving undue dispropor-tionate weight to the testimonies of Plaintiffs' witnesses, concluded thatPlaintiffs met their burden. Respectfully, my assessment of the evidence ad-duced at trial and my complete review of the entire record in this case con-vinces me that Plaintiffs failed to disentangle the State's political defensefrom the consideration of race in the formulation of S.B. 8. Not only is thepanel majority's decision particularly jarring here, but it also creates an un-tenable dilemma for the State and eviscerates the semblance of its sover-eign prerogative to draw maps.The Louisiana Legislature conducted roadshows, held floor debates,had the author of the bill and numerous legislators explicitly state the74

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Case 3:24-cv-00122-DCJ-CES-RRS Document 198 Filed 04/30/24 Page 135 of 135 PageID#: 5025political impetus for their efforts, and drafted several maps and amend-ments before finally passing S.B. 8. If, after all of that, the majority still foundthat race predominated in drawing District 6, are we not essentially tellingthe State that it is incapable of doing the job it is tasked with under theUnited States and Louisiana constitutions? While the panel majority statesthat this court does not decide "whether it is feasible to create a secondmajority-Black district in Louisiana," the context underlying this case in con-junction with its holding functionally answers that question. Majority Op.58. I worry that the panel majority's decision fails to properly assess thehistory that led to S.B. 8 and, consequently, dooms us to repeat this cycle.For the foregoing reasons, I would determine that Plaintiffs have failed tomeet their burden showing racial predominance in the drafting of S.B. 8.Alternatively, I would hold that S.B. 8 is constitutional because it is narrowlytailored to further the State's compelling interests in complying with § 2 ofthe VRA.7515

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