Middle District Judge set to redraw state’s congressional map
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Legislative Black Caucus stormed out of the House chamber over the weekend after Louisiana lawmakers failed to meet the demand of a federal judge to pass a congressional map that added a second Black-majority district. It’s now in the hands of Middle District Judge Shelly Dick.
“The most likely scenario is that Judge Dick will draw the maps, and we’ll have two minority-majority districts,” said political analyst Jim Engster.
Republicans say six days was not enough time to draw a new map, and they were being asked to do the impossible, even though it was done successfully back in 1994.
“Yes, there is some history of coming in and passing some things in six days or so. But I think when you look back at that, a lot of times that has happened on the heels of a regular session or special session where you’ve been negotiating a specific thing for months,” said Sen. Rick Ward (R).
Sen. Ward presented a map that showed the most promise, but it was unable to make it out of the Senate before the session ended Saturday.
“And as a result of that, they basically said it’s all yours Shelly Dick, you do what you need to do, and we’ll be back in court,” Engster added.
It’s understood redistricting will always be a sort of nasty fight for both sides, but could this process happen again 10 years down the road?
“Where I think we can do a better job is understanding that it’s really not a personal thing, we’re up there trying to do what we think our constituents feel is best,” Sen. Ward continued.
“10 years from now if Louisiana still has six congress people, we may not, then two of them will need to be African American or we’ll be right back in court again,” said Engster.
The Legislative Black Caucus says they plan to send the maps they presented during the session over to Judge Dick to consider sometime this week. Judge Dick says they want remedial maps on their desk by June 22, and a hearing to consider both sides on the maps will take place June 29.
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