Louisiana

State website: house.louisiana.gov/h_redistricting2011 and senate.legis.state.la.us/redist2011
2010-cycle districts: Congress, State Senate, State House  « NEW 
2000-cycle districts: Congress, State Senate, State House
Primary governing law: La. Const. art. III, § 6

The Latest

Congress: On April 14, 2011, the governor signed HB 6, which was precleared on August 1. On November 14, the state Attorney General filed a lawsuit challenging the Census count, in an attempt to gain an additional congressional district; that suit was dismissed on March 19, 2012.

State leg.: On April 14, 2011, the governor signed HB 1 and SB 1; HB 1 was precleared (despite an NAACP request for an objection) on June 20, and SB 1 was precleared on June 28.

  • Institution

    Redistricting political control:

    Governor State Senate State House
    Congressional lines R 19 D, 20 R 49 D, 52 R, 4 O
    State legislative lines R 19 D, 20 R 49 D, 52 R, 4 O
    2000 cong. lines R 25 D, 14 R 70 D, 34 R
    2000 state lines R 25 D, 14 R 70 D, 34 R

    Louisiana's congressional and state legislative lines are both drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto. The members of the state House committee with responsibility for redistricting are listed here; the members of the state Senate committee are listed here.

    The Louisiana constitution grants the state Supreme Court jurisdiction to redraw state legislature lines if the legislature fails to do so. No similar provision exists for congressional lines. [La. Const. art. III, § 6(B)]


  • Timing

    Census data were delivered to Louisiana on February 3, 2011.

    Louisiana state law does not impose a particular deadline for drawing congressional lines, though candidates must file for congressional primary elections by August 17, 2012. [La. Rev. Stat. §§ 18-467(2), -468(a)]

    The state constitution requires that state legislative lines be drawn by December 31, 2011, but with 2011 elections, the practical deadline is much earlier. Candidates must qualify for state legislative primary elections by September 8, 2011. [La. Const. art. III, § 6(A); La. Rev. Stat. §§ 18-467(1), -468(b)]

    Louisiana places no limits on the ability to redraw congressional or state legislative district lines at any time, including before the next Census. [La. Op. Atty. Gen. No. 99-54 (1999)]


  • Public input

    Public hearings were scheduled around the state through February and March. Video of these hearings, and presentations and comments presented at them, are available here for the state House, and here for the state Senate.


  • Criteria

    Like all states, Louisiana must comply with constitutional equal population requirements. [La. Const. art. III, § 6]

    Louisiana must also, like all states, abide by section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Louisiana is further considered a "covered state" under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, with the obligation to submit redistricting plans to the Department of Justice or to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to ensure that the plans do not discriminate against minority communities.

    Louisiana's state legislative committees tasked with redistricting adopted further guidelines for redrawing congressional and state legislative districts. The guidelines call for districts to be contiguous, and to respect recognized political boundaries and the natural geography of the state to the extent practicable. These guidelines can be modified by the legislature at any time. [House Comm. on House and Gov't Affairs, Committee Rules for Redistricting; Sen. Comm. on Sen. and Gov't Affairs, Committee Rules for Redistricting]


  • 2010 cycle cases

    Buckley v. Schedler, No. 3:13-cv-00763 (M.D. La.): an action in federal court challenging a Louisiana congressional district, alleging racial gerrymandering unsupported by a compelling state interest in the wake of Shelby County v. Holder.
         - Complaint (Nov. 25, 2013).
         - Notice of voluntary dismissal (Dec. 16).
    The latest: The case was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs on December 16, 2013.

    Ceasar v. Jindal, No. 6:12-cv-02198 (W.D. La.) & No. 13-30521 (5th Cir.): an action in federal court challenging Louisiana's congressional districts, alleging racial gerrymandering and violations of the Voting Rights Act.
         - Trial court
              - Motion for preliminary injunction (app.) (Aug. 16, 2012).
              - Motion for default judgment (Nov. 7).
              - Order dismissing case (Mar. 18, 2013).
         - Court of appeals
              - Notice of appeal (Apr. 18).
              - Order dismissing case for absence of docketing fee (June 14).
    The latest: An initial pleading, styled as a motion for preliminary injunction, was filed on August 16, 2012. On March 18, 2013, the court noted that the plaintiff's ability to file without fees had been revoked after litigation in an unrelated case, and that he had been barred from filing further litigation until costs and fees were paid in a separate unrelated case. The court dismissed this lawsuit without prejudice to refiling once the prior fees were paid.

    La. House of Representatives v. Holder, No. 1:11-cv-00770 (D.D.C.): an action in federal court requesting preclearance of Louisiana's state House districts, in parallel to the state's attempt to preclear maps through the DOJ's administrative process.
         - Complaint (Apr. 21, 2011).
    The latest: After state House districts were precleared, the case was dismissed on June 21, 2011.

    Louisiana v. Bryson, No. 22O140 ORG (U.S. Sup. Ct.): an original action in the Supreme Court, challenging the inclusion of "non-immigrant foreign nationals" in the Census Count, and alleging that an adjusted count would entitle Louisiana to an additional Congressional representative.
         - Complaint (Nov. 14, 2011).
         - Amicus briefs by Sec. Kobach, Eagle Forum (Jan. 13).
         - Amicus briefs by Judicial Watch, U.S. Border Control et al. (Jan. 13).
         - Opposition by Sec. Commerce et al. (Feb. 13), reply (Feb. 29).
         - Order denying motion to file complaint, dismissing case (Mar. 19).
    The latest: On March 19, the Court denied plaintiffs' motion to file an original action in the Supreme Court, terminating the case.

    Hall v. Louisiana, No. 3:12-cv-00657 (M.D. La.): an action in federal court challenging the state legislation redrawing city court judicial districts in Baton Rouge, and requesting bail-in for Louisiana under the Voting Rights Act.
         - Original complaint (Oct. 18, 2012).
              - Hall 1st (Oct. 28), 2d (Jan. 10, 2013), 3d (Jan. 10), 4th amd. complaint (Oct. 9).
              - Intervenor Sharper cmplt. (May 13, 2013), 1st (May 20), 2d amd. complaint (Oct. 9).
         - Motion to dismiss Hall complaint (Nov. 1, 2012), opp. (Nov. 16).
              - Order dismissing some claims, preserving others (Sept. 30, 2013).
         - Motion to dismiss amd. Hall complaint (Oct. 24, 2013), opp. (Nov. 14).
              - Order dismissing some claims, preserving others (Apr. 14, 2014).
         - Motion to dismiss Sharper complaint (June 18, 2013), supp. (Nov. 1), opp. (Nov. 15).
              - Order dismissing some claims, preserving others (Mar. 31, 2014).
         - Motion for class cert. (Mar. 10, 2014).
         - Order re leg privilege (Apr. 23).
         - Plts. motion for partial summ. judg. (June 2), opp. by AG, SoS (June 23), reply (July 18).
              - Order denying summary judgment (July 28).
         - AG motion for summ. judg. (June 2), opp. (June 23), reply (July 18).
              - Order denying summary judgment (July 30).
         - SoS motion for summ. judg. v. Hall (June 2), opp. (June 20), reply (July 18).
              - Order granting summary judgment on some claims, denying others (July 30).
         - SoS motion for summ. judg. v. Sharper (June 2), opp. (June 20), reply (July 18).
              - Order granting summary judgment on some claims, denying others (July 30).
         - SoS motion for judgment as matter of law (Nov. 17).
    The latest: On Mar. 31 and Apr. 14, 2014, the court dismissed equal population claims and claims under the Privileges and Immunities clause, but preserved claims under the Fifteenth Amendment and section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. On July 28, 2014, the court denied plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on their intentional discrimination claims; on July 30, the court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment on First Amendment and vote dilution claims. This sends right-to-vote and due process claims, and claims under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, to trial.


  • 2000 cycle

    In the 2000 redistricting cycle, Louisiana's legislature enacted congressional plans on October 19, 2001, which were precleared on April 1, 2002. The legislature enacted both state Senate and state House plans on October 16, 2001. The Senate plans were precleared through the Department of Justice on July 2, 2002, but the state sought preclearance through federal court in Washington, D.C., for House plans. A settlement led to a new state House plan enacted by the legislature on May 7, 2003, and precleared on May 20, 2003. It appears that the plans were not further challenged in court.

    State House plans were further modified on June 3, 2003 and June 25, 2004; state Senate plans were further modified on May 13, 2003.


  • Other state links

    Advancement Project, Louisiana Redistricting: Rules of Engagement in a Nutshell

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