Election official seeks delay of order for new Congress map

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana’s top election official asked a federal judge on Tuesday to delay her order that the state come up with a new congressional district map.

Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin filed a motion in Baton Rouge saying the Legislature won’t be able to convene in special session and complete a new map by the June 20 deadline set by U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick in Monday’s order. The filing...

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana’s top election official asked a federal judge on Tuesday to delay her order that the state come up with a new congressional district map.

Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin filed a motion in Baton Rouge saying the Legislature won’t be able to convene in special session and complete a new map by the June 20 deadline set by U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick in Monday’s order. The filing asks Dick to delay her order while Ardoin’s office appeals to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday he will soon call a special legislative session to draw new congressional boundaries. Edwards says the current maps crafted by the Republican-led Legislature should have included a second majority-Black district, noting the state’s population is almost one-third Black. He had vetoed the congressional map but lawmakers were able to muster the two-thirds Senate and House majorities needed to override the veto.

Edwards told reporters at a news conference Monday after the judge’s decision that redrawing the district lines is required by the court order, the Voting Rights Act and by “basic fairness and basic math.”

Ardoin’s lawyers said advance notice required for a special session, the number of days required for a bill to go through the legislative process and the likelihood of long debates and numerous amendments all mean the June 20 deadline cannot be met. In addition, they said they would likely win an appeal.

“The Court — after waiting more than three weeks from the preliminary injunction hearing before issuing its ruling — gave the Legislature only 14 days to enact a remedial plan,” Ardoin’s filing says. But he wrote it wouldn’t be possibel to comply by the deadline “even without the complexities inherent in redistricting.”

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