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Remain on order for the US House district with the second black majority in LA

NEW ORLEANS – A federal appeals court stopped the execution of Order of a Louisiana District Judge to redraw new congressional districts by June 20 to accommodate a district with a second majority of blacks.

A panel of the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals acted hours later on Thursday evening US District Judge Shelly Dick refused to withhold her order.

The two-sentence order of the three-person appellate panel also required both sides to submit their answers by 4:00 p.m. Central Time.

State Senate President Page Cortez and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, Republicans who asked for the delay, said Friday that a special session to revise district lines should be canceled.

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“Until the judicial reelection process is complete, any special session would be premature and a waste of taxpayers’ money,” they wrote.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who has called for a June 15-20 circuit election session, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

He vetoed the new districts, Because Louisiana is nearly one-third African American, a single black-majority district violates the Voting Rights Act.

However, the Republicans dominated The legislature overrode its veto.

Court filings for Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin call the deadline “unworkable” — an argument Dick called “disingenuous and unconvincing.”

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The state requires seven days’ notice for the start of meetings and three days for bill reading, she wrote. That “would take ten days total, and this court gave the legislature a fortnight,” she said.

Kathryn Sadasivan, district attorney 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 significant changes in the black population and the shared interests and needs of black voters in Baton Rouge and the Delta Communities” north of Baton Rouge and east of the Mississippi River.

She said Dick’s 152-page ruling recognizes that a single-majority African-American district dilutes black political power.

“We are confident that the November primary is far enough away to uphold this decision,” Sadasivan wrote.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/06/10/stay-on-order-for-2nd-majority-black-us-house-district-in-la/ Remain on order for the US House district with the second black majority in LA

Sarah Y. Kim

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