Louisiana Special Redistricting Session Possible, How Would Edwards or Landry Pull it Off?
Baton Rouge, LA (KPEL News) - Louisiana Governor-elect Jeff Landry could call for a special redistricting session of the Legislature. So could Governor John Bel Edwards. The U.S 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has given Louisiana until January 15 to redraw maps, and the timing is awful.
Current Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has released a statement praising the ruling from the appeals court:
As I have said all along, Louisiana can and should have a congressional map that represents our voting population, which is one-third Black. This is about simple math, basic fairness, and the rule of law. With the 5th Circuit's action today, I remain confident that we will have a fair map with two majority Black districts before the congressional elections next year.
The math, though, doesn't favor a special session called by the outgoing governor. State law requires that his office give seven days' notice before proclaiming a special session. Technically, there are only 33 working days from now until the first of the year.
Governor Edwards has not given any indication that he will attempt to call lawmakers into session prior to the end of 2023.
Landry and new legislative member will be installed on January 8th so, given constitutional requirements, the timing would be just as tenuous if he decides to call a special session. He has not said whether he plans to make the attempt.
Judge Shelly Dick struck down Louisiana's maps in 2022 and ordered the legislature to redraw them to create a second majority-Black district. Legal wrangling since that time have led us to where we are today.
In its ruling, the 5th Circuit Court does afford the district court the power to grant "limited additional time," if the state requests it.
Gumbo Inflation Index for South Louisiana
Gallery Credit: Joe Cunningham