A federal judge has ordered the state’s legislative maps to be redrawn because it violates the Voting Rights Act by diluting the black vote. ULM Political Science Professor Pearson Cross said it’s a momentous ruling from Judge Shelly Dick.
“And has suggested that they should add three new majority-Black (Senate) districts and between six and nine new majority-Black districts in the House. This is enormous for political representation in Louisiana,” said Cross.
Seeing as there was already a special session called to redraw the state’s congressional maps, Cross believes Governor Jeff Landry will have lawmakers address the legislative maps during a regular session because a timeline was not outlined in the ruling.
“I think he would probably not see any pressing reason to do it given that the upcoming state elections won’t happen for a few years,” said Cross.
Because litigation has been filed against the most recent congressional map, Cross believes the Republican-controlled legislature would ideally like to avoid redrawing the legislative maps as long as possible.
“It’s not clear that they’ll be able to. Usually when a federal judge requires the legislature to do something, they in fact are compelled to do so,” said Cross.
Cross said once the legislative districts are redrawn, he expects it will have lasting effects on how power is allocated at the state capitol.
Speaker of the House Phillip DeVillier said because no timeline was given for redrawing the state’s legislative districts the priority of the House is to address the serious crime issues outlined in the special session called by Governor Landry.