Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stays district court ruling blocking Louisiana’s congressional district map

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an administrative stay on June 9 of a federal district court ruling blocking Louisiana’s congressional district map pending further proceedings. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana had struck down the state’s congressional district map on June 6 and blocked the state from using the districts for the 2022 elections.

The federal district court’s order blocking the map said, “The appropriate remedy in this context is a remedial congressional redistricting plan that includes an additional majority-Black congressional district. The United States Supreme Court instructs that the Legislature should have the first opportunity to draw that plan. Therefore, the Court ORDERS the Louisiana Legislature to enact a remedial plan on or before June 20, 2022. If the Legislature is unable to pass a remedial plan by that date, the Court will issue additional orders to enact a remedial plan.”

Louisiana enacted a new congressional map on March 30 when the state legislature overrode Gov. John Bel Edwards’ (D) veto of legislation establishing the new districts. The state Senate voted to override 27-11 with all ‘yes’ votes from Republicans and all ‘no’ votes from Democrats. The state House of Representatives overrode Edwards’ veto 72-32 with 68 Republicans, three independents, and one Democrat voting in favor and all votes against by Democrats. Gov. Edwards had vetoed the congressional district map on March 9, saying, “This map is simply not fair to the people of Louisiana and does not meet the standards set forth in the federal Voting Rights Act.”

Louisiana’s filing deadline for congressional candidates is July 22.

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