Louisiana legislators have until Jan. 15 to enact new congressional map, court says
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By Sara Cline, Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana Legislature has until Jan. 15 to enact a new congressional map after a lower court last year ruled that the current political boundaries dilute the power of the state’s Black voters, a federal New Orleans appeals court said Friday.
However, whether current Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards will call a special session to redraw the political boundaries and if Republican Gov.-elect Jeff Landry, who will be inaugurated Jan. 8, will have enough time to call a special redistricting session and meet the court’s deadline has yet to be determined.
If the Legislature does not pass a new map by mid-January, then the lower district court should conduct a trial and “decide on a plan for the 2024 elections,” according to the order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth District.
Louisiana’s current map, which was used in the November congressional election, has white majorities in five of six districts — despite Black people accounting for one-third of the state’s population.
Republicans, who dominate Louisiana’s Legislature, say that the map is fair. They argue that Black populations in the state are too dispersed to be united into a second majority Black district.
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