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Prof. Justin Levitt's Doug Spencer's Guide to Drawing the Electoral Lines

State Summary

Louisiana’s congressional and state legislative lines are drawn by the legislature, as normal legislation, subject to gubernatorial veto.  Louisiana’s state Senate and state House will next be up for election in 2023.

In the 2010 cycle, the legislature enacted a congressional plan (HB 6), state Senate plan (SB 1), and state House plan (HB 1), all signed by the Governor on Apr. 14, 2011.

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Seats: (projected)

Institution:

Drawn by:

Plan Status:

Party Control:
  Upper House:
  Lower House:
  Governor:

Key Info for 2000 Cycle

Website

Primary governing law

Key Info for 2010 Cycle

Website

Primary governing law

Key Info for 2020 Cycle

Primary governing law

Data

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The Latest Updates

Jun 14, 2021
The legislature has approved House Concurrent Resolution No. 90, which provides for minimally acceptable criteria for any proposed redistricting plans.  The full text of the resolution can be read here.
Apr 26, 2021
Several individual Louisiana voters brought a state court challenge to the congressional maps, based on the anticipated failure of the legislature to draw valid lines.

Institution

Louisiana’s congressional and state legislative lines are both drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.

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

Louisiana state law does not impose a particular deadline for drawing congressional lines, though candidates must file for congressional primary elections by July 22, 2022. [La. Rev. Stat. §§ 18-467(2), –468(a)]  The legislative session is currently scheduled to begin on Apr. 12, 2021, and end on June 10, 2021.

The state constitution requires that state legislative lines be drawn by Dec. 31, 2021.  Candidates must qualify for state legislative primary elections by Aug. 10, 2023. [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

The legislature has not yet announced specific plans for public input this cycle.

In the 2010 cycle, public hearing records were available here for the state House, and here for the state Senate.

Criteria

Like all states, Louisiana must comply with constitutional equal population requirements. The state constitution also asks that state legislative districts be apportioned as equally as practicable on the basis of population.  [La. Const. art. III, § 6]

Louisiana must also, like all states, abide by the Voting Rights Act and constitutional rules on race.

2010 cycle

Louisiana’s legislature enacted congressional plans (HB 6) on Apr. 13, 2011, which were signed by the Governor on Apr. 14, 2011, and precleared on Aug. 1, 2011.  Challenges to the congressional map were voluntarily dismissed.

Louisiana’s legislature passed a state Senate plan (SB 1) on Apr. 12, 2011, and a state House plan (HB 1) on Apr. 11, 2011; both were signed by the Governor on Apr. 14, 2011.  HB 1 was precleared on June 20, 2011, and SB 1 was precleared on June 28, 2011.

2000 cycle

Louisiana’s legislature enacted congressional plans (HB 2) on Oct. 19, 2001, which were precleared on Apr. 1, 2002.

The legislature enacted both state Senate (SB 1) and state House (HB 1) 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 (HB 779) 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 (HB 2011) and June 25, 2004 (HB 910); state Senate plans were further modified on May 13, 2003 (SB 927).

Redistricting Cases in Louisiana

Search all Louisiana Cases >

Louisiana | State Trial | Congress
English v. Ardoin
State court challenge to congressional based on anticipated leg. failure
Last Updated Apr 26, 2021
Case Number

2021-03538 (La. Civ. Dist. Ct., Parish of Orleans)

Cycle 2020