We don’t know that Mississippi Senate District 22, even with its majority-black voting-age population, is racially gerrymandered, as federal Judge Carlton Reeves has ruled. We do know that it’s politically gerrymandered.
The district was drawn by Republicans in order to try to keep the seat in its party. The shape of the district looks like an impossibly long and difficult par-5 on a golf course. It tees off in Bolivar County, takes a mean dogleg left around Sharkey County then snakes its way toward the hole in Madison County. The district covers six counties and more than 100 miles, as the crow flies. It is one of the most absurdly drawn political districts in the Legislature.
Even if Reeves’ decision is appealed and overturned, District 22 would strengthen the case of those who argue political boundaries designed to benefit one party are unconstitutional, too.