sunny.png
Sunday December 4th, 2022 4:26PM

Stay on order for 2nd majority-Black US House district in La

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court has halted enforcement of a district judge’s order for Louisiana to redraw new congressional districts by June 20 to include a second majority Black district.

A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acted Thursday night, hours after U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick refused to put a hold on her order.

Dick’s order would require a racial gerrymander that itself would violate the Voting Rights Act, lawyers for Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin wrote in a motion filed Friday.

In a motion filed Thursday, State Senate President Page Cortez and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder argued, “To conduct the 2022 election with two majority-Black districts would risk a widespread equal-protection violation.”

Ardoin said Dick ignored legal precedent and election officials.

“Instead, the district court cherry picks evidence, relies upon testimony of a lawyer for the Governor who has never administered an election in Louisiana, and discounts established Fifth Circuit and Supreme Court precedent,” his motion argued.

The state Attorney General's Office filed a third motion.

“Their motions rest in large part on asking this Court to disregard the district court’s findings of fact, ignoring or mischaracterizing the district court’s legal analysis and the evidentiary record, and urging arguments that are contrary to binding case law,” responded attorneys for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which represents one of the two groups of voters who challenged the plan.

“Defendants point to nothing in the district court’s order that indicates it made a mistake of law or fact,” said lawyers for the other group.

Cortez and Schexnayder said Friday that a special session called to revise district lines should be canceled.

“Before the judicial redistricting process is complete, any special session would be premature and a waste of taxpayer money,” they wrote.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who has called for a redistricting session from June 15-20, said it's too early to cancel the session.

“Given the expedited timeline, there will likely be additional action by the Fifth Circuit on the stay request before the session is set to begin on June 15,” said a news release from his office.

If the court continues the hold, the session should be delayed until it makes a decision, he said in a letter to the legislators.

“While I am mindful of the costs to the taxpayers as pointed out in your press release, it is clear that the state would have saved the unknown thousands of dollars being spent on out-of-state lawyers if the legislature had originally enacted maps that comply with the Voting Rights Act and the standard of fundamental fairness," he wrote. “It is not too late for the legislature to do the right thing.”

He had vetoed the new districts, saying that since Louisiana is nearly one-third African American, a single majority-Black district violates the Voting Rights Act.

However, the Republican-dominated legislature overrode his veto.

Court papers for Ardoin call the deadline “unworkable” — an argument that Dick described as “insincere and not persuasive.”

The state requires seven days’ notice of the start of the session and three days for bill reading, she wrote. That “would require ten days total, and this Court gave the Legislature fourteen,” she said.

Kathryn Sadasivan, redistricting counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the new map “continues to pack Black voters from New Orleans and Baton Rouge into a single congressional district despite the significant changes in the Black population and the shared interests and needs of Black voters in Baton Rouge and the Delta parishes” north of Baton Rouge along and east of the Mississippi River.

She said Dick's 152-page ruling recognized that the single majority African American district dilutes Black political power.

“We are confident that the November primary election is sufficiently far away to allow this decision to stand,” Sadasivan wrote.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pope cancels trip to Congo and South Sudan due to bad knee
Pope Francis has canceled a planned July trip to Africa on doctors' orders because of ongoing knee problems
12:50PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Ukraine pleads for weapons as 100-200 soldiers die a day
A Ukrainian presidential adviser says up to 200 Ukrainian soldiers are dying every day in the war with Russia
12:48PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Police: Shooting suspect under guard, hurt trooper released
Authorities say a West Virginia man accused of fatally shooting three co-workers at a western Maryland machine shop remains under police guard at a hospital, but a Maryland state trooper injured in a shootout with the shooting suspect has been treated and released
12:47PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Biden, leaders reach migration pact despite attendance flap
President Joe Biden and other Western Hemisphere leaders are set to announce what is being billed as a roadmap for countries to host large numbers of migrants and refugees
12:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
A harrowing American moment, repackaged for prime time
The Jan. 6 congressional hearings are being held with the help of a big-time television producer, and dramatic revelations have been promised
12:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
Aging dams could soon benefit from $7B federal loan program
The federal government is taking the first step to set up a program that could offer more than $7 billion of loans to repair aging dams across the country
11:26AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Capitol riot panel: Trump to blame for 1/6 'attempted coup'
The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has firmly laid blame on Donald Trump
10:34PM ( 14 hours ago )
Capitol riot panel blames Trump for 1/6, 'attempted coup,'
A House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has firmly laid blame on Donald Trump
10:03PM ( 15 hours ago )
Capitol riot an 'attempted coup,' prime-time hearing told
The chairman of the House committee investigating the Jan_ 6 insurrection at the U_S_ Capitol has opened a prime-time hearing, declaring the attack an “attempted coup.”
9:11PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Pope cancels trip to Congo and South Sudan due to bad knee
Pope Francis has canceled a planned July trip to Africa on doctors' orders because of ongoing knee problems
12:50PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Ukraine pleads for weapons as 100-200 soldiers die a day
A Ukrainian presidential adviser says up to 200 Ukrainian soldiers are dying every day in the war with Russia
12:48PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Police: Shooting suspect under guard, hurt trooper released
Authorities say a West Virginia man accused of fatally shooting three co-workers at a western Maryland machine shop remains under police guard at a hospital, but a Maryland state trooper injured in a shootout with the shooting suspect has been treated and released
12:47PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Texas massacre spurs Oregon gun-safety ballot initiative
A massacre at a school in Texas has spurred a ballot initiative in Oregon that would require permits to purchase firearms and ban large-capacity magazines
12:47PM ( 18 minutes ago )
US lifts COVID-19 test requirement for international travel
The Biden administration is lifting its requirement that international air travelers to the U.S. take a COVID-19 test within a day before boarding their flights, easing one of the last remaining government mandates meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus
12:45PM ( 20 minutes ago )