BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A federal judge has again denied the legislature’s request to have more time to draw a new congressional map. This comes as the state makes a plea to higher courts to pause the process.
Members of the legislature asked the Middle District judge to give them more time to submit a remedial map, stating a few days wasn’t enough time. Middle District Judge Shelly Dick called for maps to be turned in by both sides no later than Wednesday. The order came through even before the special redistricting session ended as the judge did not believe the lawmakers would pass a new map.
The judge denied the request and now it is up to her to decide how the state’s congressional map should look if the original map gets struck down in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
She went on to say in her brief, “It is noteworthy that the Secretary of State neither moves for continuance nor joins in the Intervenor’s request for continuance… because the delay sought by the State and the Legislators is incongruent with the Secretary of State’s mission.”
The plaintiffs will be submitting their map that looks very similar to what Democrats pushed during the special session. They said there will be some slight tweaks to the map. Their plan would make the 5th district a second majority-minority district as ordered by the judge.
It is not clear if the GOP will submit a map at all with the denial of an extension. Many are waiting for a decision by the 5th Circuit, which is holding its hearing on the merits of the map in July.
Leadership has already asked the U.S. Supreme Court to give a stay in the case to give them more time to hear the 5th Circuit case. No action has immediately been taken. As of now, the Middle District court ruling is the law of the land until further action is made by a higher court.