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Special session to redraw Louisiana congressional districts begins

Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus speak after the opening of the special session.
Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus speak after the opening of the special session.(WAFB)
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 7:20 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2022 at 10:42 AM CDT
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UPDATE:

US Judge Shelly Dick has denied a request by Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, and Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, for more time to draw a new congressional map.

ORIGINAL:

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana lawmakers are once again in a special session to discuss the redrawing of congressional district boundaries.

At the opening of the session, some lawmakers expressed their opinions on a federal judge ruling that the current map is unconstitutional.

“The maps we passed after all the hard work are fair and constitutional. It concerns me that we are now being asked to redo these maps in just five days. Something that was passed overwhelmingly by 2/3 of both bodies after a long year’s work,” said Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder.

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus held a news conference to talk about the first day of the special session to redraw congressional district maps.

The maps passed earlier this year have one majority-minority district. Other lawmakers said they agree with the judge’s ruling and say Louisiana needs a second minority district.

“We have said time after time after time that the maps being proposed did not pass muster under the Voting Rights Act. It feels like Groundhog Day because I have come to this well so many times and repeated myself, and we have made the same argument so many times. The question is, are we going to respect the law or are we not going to respect the law?” Royce Duplessis said.

Louisiana has six congressional districts and a third of the population is African American, according to the most recent census.

“This has been a struggle, and as I’ve said to the caucus, and as I’ve said to members, many members of the legislature. We are on the 50-yard line. We’re not on the 1-yard line. We’re not on the five-yard line. we have 50 more yards to go and this state deserves a second majority-minority district,” state senator Cleo Fields said.

The special session is scheduled to end on Monday, June 20.

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