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LA reapportionment Hail Mary to change nothing

The dog-and-pony show continues over the use of raw judicial power to force Louisiana to adopt two instead of one majority-minority districts for its six congressional districts starting next year, against which Republicans must hold firm.

Understand that’s all it is, as a consequence of a Hail Mary attempt by the political left to create an environment where it likely could win two rather than one House of Representative seats in the state. Emboldened by the decision of a rogue federal judge, the Louisiana Middle District’s Shelly Dick, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards called the Legislature into special session after she ruled the state had to adopt a two M/M plan, as opposed to the one M/M plan passed by the Legislature over Edwards’ veto in a special session earlier this year.

The adopted plan in concept is similar to one in the state of Alabama, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled would go forward while it would review a suit against it next year. That would address the heart of Dick’s ruling that delivers an unprecedented and ahistorical interpretation that a state’s proportion of congressional M/M districts roughly must match the proportion of black population in it, with the Court making it very clear that it would not rush matters in making its constitutional determination as Dick has done.


Corporate welfare for LA newspapers continues

Another year, another serving of taxpayer paid-for and wasted welfare to Louisiana newspapers is the answer to one Bossier City Council member’s inquiry.

At last week’s meeting, Republican Councilor David Montgomery asked, when it and other governing authorities across the state do this time of year, upon the Council taking up naming an official journal for the coming year whether something could be done about reducing the expense associated with that. Council Clerk Phyllis McGraw said the city spent at least $25,000 annually in legal notices, which she said duplicates what the city puts online. She also spoke that if there were newspapers in an area then these had to appear in one or more of these, which then made the city hostage to their publication deadlines for referrals.

Well, to answer his question, on almost an annual basis for the past several years legislators have brought bills to remove the requirement to publish, in whole or part, in a newspaper a jurisdiction’s public notices. A number of states have broadened eligibility to allow an online format published by nongovernment entities, but recently Florida became the first state to allow bypass of that entirely by allowing governments in larger-populated counties with impunity to publish notices solely through their own websites, while those with lower populations must demonstrate they can do so without unduly impeding public access before being able to avoid use of newspaper publishing of these.


BC at-large system not broken, no need to fix

There’s no good reason for Bossier City to change its present City Council district arrangement of five single-member and two at-large districts.

Months ago, the Bossier City/Parish NAACP chapter began a campaign to initiate a charter change that would create seven single-member districts. Under this organization, demographics and reapportionment principles suggest that two minority – black – candidates could win Council seats, whereas under the current organization with a single majority-minority district historically only that district has elected a black councilor. According to the 2020 census, Bossier City has a black proportion of the population of 31 percent.

(Although not necessarily would a seven single-member district system elect two blacks, assuming blacks almost universally would vote for a black candidate. Demographer and Louisiana State University Shreveport history Prof. Gary Joiner in his plan along those lines presented to the Council couldn’t carve out two M/M districts. The best he could do was one district 58 percent black and another 46 percent black, 30 percent white, 15 percent Hispanic, and the remainder other or mixed races.)


Only veto may save mugshot-reliant newspapers

Instead of better, things got worse for a small number of Louisiana newspapers to the point they now must depend upon Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards for relief.

When it started out, HB 729 by Democrat state Rep. Royce Duplessis wouldn’t have affected many newspapers in the state. Originally, it would have forbidden law enforcement officials from disseminating booking photos of arrestees to publications believed mainly to derive their revenues from publishing these and that charged fees to have these removed from their web sites, except of fugitives.

While some national sites operate in this fashion that don’t really depend upon advertisements or subscriptions for revenues but instead money to make them go away out of a person’s life – making no exceptions for those not found guilty on the charge – in Louisiana typically are publications like Monroe’s Justified Newspaper, which runs only mugshots but doesn’t charge for removal because it doesn’t remove these, or Shreveport’s The Inquisitor/FocusSB, which runs other unrelated content and doesn’t derive revenue directly from publishing such photos.


Predictable decision sets up plan checkmate

Looks like that legalistic Hail Mary pass tossed by leftist special interests concerning Louisiana’s new congressional districts isn’t going to come up a winner, no matter what happens from here.

After a rogue district judge, against the run of judicial play, from Louisiana’s Middle District Shelly Dick struck down the state’s recent such reapportionment because its proportion of majority-minority districts didn’t match the proportion of black population in the state, a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel predictably stayed the order. It then set a Jun. 14 deadline to decide whether to make the stay permanent.

Entirely predictable, because four months ago the U.S. Supreme Court handled an almost identical case from Alabama by putting a permanent injunction in place. It did so because a majority wanted to review the case in thorough fashion and wouldn’t do at the time because, according to the Purcell legal doctrine, election deadlines loomed too large to make that possible. In that instance, qualifying for the offices was just about to commence for the primary elections.