Lawsuit claims Mississippi legislative district dilutes black vote

Source: MGN

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A new federal lawsuit says a state Senate district in Mississippi dilutes black voting power and should be redrawn.

The suit, filed Monday, asks a judge to declare that Senate District 22 violates the federal Voting Rights Act. It also asks a judge to order legislators to reconfigure the district before the 2019 state elections.

The district has a 51 percent black voting-age population, but the suit says it lacks "real electoral opportunity" for African-Americans.

The district has been represented since January 2004 by Republican Sen. Eugene "Buck" Clarke of Hollandale, who is white. Clarke is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The district is more than 100 miles long, stretching through parts of six counties from the Delta down into Jackson suburbs in Madison County.