JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi’s 2022 state legislative district maps are being challenged by civil rights advocates, who claim the maps unlawfully dilute the voting strength of Black Mississippians.

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Mississippi, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Mississippi Center for Justice; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and civil rights attorney Carroll Rhodes are representing the Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP and voters from across the state in the federal lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the 2022 maps deny Black residents in areas throughout Mississippi an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect candidates of their choice. The lawsuit also claims that the state gerrymandered certain district lines by improperly using voters’ race.

“Legislators should not draw their districts to guarantee their reelection. When they do so, they ignore the public need. One day, Mississippians will have a legislature that prioritizes their needs and follows the law. But that only happens if we continue to hold the current body accountable. That only happens when voters choose their legislators, not when legislators choose their voters,” said Jarvis Dortch, executive director of the ACLU of Mississippi.