Too early to cancel a special session to redraw maps of congressional districts

Gov. John Bel Edwards says he won’t rescind the call for a special session to redraw maps of Louisiana’s congressional districts.

In a letter sent to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, Edwards explains that it would be premature to cancel the special session of the Louisiana Legislative Assembly which is scheduled to begin on June 15, 2022.

Edwards called the session after the Intermediate District Court ruled that maps of Louisiana’s congressional districts drawn by Legislature Republicans violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Late Thursday, the Fifth Circuit issued an administrative stay of the Intermediate District Court’s injunction ordering the Legislature to draw new maps.

However, the court also requested that briefing notes be filed by the parties regarding the stay request by 4 p.m. on Friday, June 10. Given the expedited timeline, the governor’s office says the Fifth Circuit will likely take further action on the stay request before the session is scheduled to begin on June 15.

The governor’s letter informed the president and president that, while he is not canceling the special session call at this time, he will cancel the call if a Fifth Circuit reprieve is in place from 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 14. .

In the letter, Governor Edwards states:

“I remain hopeful that the Fifth Circuit will reverse the administrative stay and allow Judge Dick’s well-reasoned decision and injunction to stand. I believe the Legislature can and should meet next week to pass maps that create a second majority-minority district. Additionally, while I am aware of the costs to taxpayers, as noted in your press release, it is clear that the state would have saved the unknown thousands of dollars spent on out-of-state attorneys if the legislators had originally passed cards that complied with the Voting Rights Act and the fundamental fairness standard. It is not too late for the legislator to do the right thing. However, as long as I am governor, I also remain an officer of the court and I respect the authority of the Fifth Circuit on this matter. If the Court upholds a stay of Justice Dick’s decision, I agree that further action by the Legislature should be delayed until the Fifth Circuit can consider the merits of its decision.

From now on, the Special Session will begin on June 15, 2022 and is due to end at 6 p.m. on June 20, 2022. Click here to read the Governor’s letter.

Earlier Friday, Senate Speaker Page Cortez and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder released a statement about the stay of the order by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the June 6 district court ruling on congressional redistricting, rendering the governor’s proclamation calling and calling the Legislature into a special session unnecessary and premature. the courts have made a final decision on the congressional maps as they were passed by a super majority of the Legislative Assembly, we call on the governor to rescind his call for a special session Before the judicial redistricting process is ended, any special session would be premature and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

To learn more about the Court of Appeals suspension, click here.

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