AP

Louisiana asks Supreme Court to delay mostly Black district

Jun 17, 2022, 11:10 AM | Updated: 3:46 pm

Louisiana’s secretary of state and attorney general asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to put a hold on a federal judge’s order for the state to create a second majority Black congressional district by Monday.

Judge Shelly Dick’s ruling “throws the election process into chaos, and creates confusion statewide,” said a 51-page motion filed for Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin by the attorney general’s office.

The judge refused to give legislators another 10 days on Thursday, again calling the arguments by Senate President Page Cortez and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder disingenuous and insincere. She noted that with less than a week to do the work, legislators met for only 90 minutes Wednesday, the first day of a special session for redistricting.

House and Senate committees met Friday to discuss proposed maps, but lawmakers said they are not confident that Democrats and Republicans will agree new congressional boundaries.

Perhaps the most significant sign that the Legislature may be unsuccessful in adopting a new map ahead of the Monday deadline occurred when the committees rejected two Democrat-proposed bills — both of which would add a second majority-Black district — despite pleas for support from members of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus.

“Black voters in Louisiana have less opportunity to elect candidates of their choice under the current congressional map because of the way the district lines are drawn,” Democratic Rep. Royce Duplessis, a member of the Black Caucus, said during the House and Governmental Affairs Committee meeting.

Duplessis’ map failed by an 8-7 vote in the committee. Rep. Barry Ivey was the sole Republican who voted in favor of the bill, saying that although he didn’t support the boundaries, he felt the bill should reach the House to give all lawmakers the opportunity to look at, debate and discuss the map.

One bill did pass in committee and will reach the Senate floor. The map — which has two slim majority-Black districts, one with a Black voting age population of 50.08% and another with 50.136% — was passed “without action,” meaning lawmakers did not move the legislation favorably. The bill is being used as an “instrument” to continue the session and give legislators a chance to successfully pass a map.

Redistricting has divided the Republican-dominated legislature and Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, since February, when the legislature approved a congressional map with white majorities in five of six districts.

Edwards vetoed it, saying that because Louisiana’s population is nearly one-third Black, at least two districts should have African American majorities. The legislature overrode his veto. Dick then ordered legislators to create new districts, including two that are majority Black, ruling that the current map violates the Voting Rights Act by diluting the impact of voting by Black people.

Friday’s motion argued that “this case presents the exact question” justices will decide in an Alabama case, so the two should either be consolidated or Louisiana’s case should wait until Alabama’s is decided.

The Supreme Court gave the two groups of Black voters who sued the state until Thursday to respond.

Dick has ordered attorneys on both sides to provide maps that she will use to draw her own if the Legislature doesn’t meet the Monday deadline.

In her original 152-page ruling on June 6, Dick noted that when the justices stayed Alabama’s redistricting order, that state’s primary was much closer. Louisiana holds its open congressional primary on Nov. 8, the same day as the general election. Candidates must file to run by July 22.

“A stay increases the risk that Plaintiffs do not have an opportunity to vote under a nondilutive congressional map until 2024, almost halfway through this census cycle,” she wrote three days later, refusing to put a hold on her order.

___

McConnaughey reported from New Orleans. AP reporter Mark Sherman contributed from Washington.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Several hundred students and pro-Palestinian supporters rally at the intersection of Grove and Coll...

Associated Press

Pro-Palestinian protests sweep US college campuses following mass arrests at Columbia

Columbia canceled in-person classes, dozens of protesters were arrested at New York University and Yale, and the gates to Harvard Yard were closed to the public Monday.

16 hours ago

Ban on sleeping outdoors under consideration in Supreme Court...

Associated Press

With homelessness on the rise, the Supreme Court weighs bans on sleeping outdoors

The Supreme Court is wrestling with major questions about the growing issue of homelessness as it considers a ban on sleeping outdoors.

17 hours ago

Arizona judge declares mistrial in case of rancher who shot migrant...

Associated Press

Arizona judge declares mistrial in the case of a rancher accused of fatally shooting a migrant

An Arizona judge declared a mistrial in the case of rancher accused of killing a Mexican man on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border.

18 hours ago

Donald Trump appears in court for opening statements in his criminal trial for allegedly covering u...

Associated Press

Trump tried to ‘corrupt’ the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

Donald Trump's criminal trial in New York over alleged hush money payments started with opening statements on Monday.

1 day ago

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows Iran's nuclear site in Isfahan, Iran, April 4, 2024...

Associated Press

Israel, Iran play down apparent Israeli strike. The muted responses could calm tensions — for now

Israel and Iran are both playing down an apparent Israeli airstrike near a major air base and nuclear site in central Iran.

4 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters just after lawmakers pushed a $95 bill...

Associated Press

Ukraine, Israel aid advances in rare House vote as Democrats help Republicans push it forward

The House pushed ahead Friday on a foreign aid package of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other sources of humanitarian support.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Louisiana asks Supreme Court to delay mostly Black district