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Bad ruling may upend LA Congressional districts

A surprising and faulty U.S. Supreme Court decision may force Louisiana to redraw its congressional map for 2024 – or might put the state in a position to act as a springboard for an entirely new challenge to making race the predominant factor in drawing electoral boundaries.

That predominance was strengthened by today’s decision in Allen v. Milligan, which concerned Alabama’s districts. Although six justices – those nominated by a Republican president – agreed that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act did not compel states to give race a privileged place in drawing lines, which Alabama argued in that the only real difference between its adopted plan that created only one majority-minority district out of seven whereas the population proportion would suggest two, Chief Justice John Roberts and Assoc. Justice Brett Kavanaugh essentially said because enough states had treated it as such over the years that it had earned that privilege.

In other words, apply a bad interpretation of the law long enough and it becomes sanitized. Specifically in this case, as long as district drawing doesn’t devolve into ridiculous shapes and running riot over other generally-accepted principles of reapportionment, race can have a privileged status over all others. Dissenting justices noted the perversity of an interpretation that grants precedent such power over intent and logic.


GOP leaders confirm Greene probe dog and pony show

At best, it was a joke; at worst, a tool designed to boost the fortunes of the legislators involved. Meanwhile, Louisianans remain in the dark about whether Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards and top officials in the Louisiana State Police hindered justice regarding the death of black motorist Ronald Greene.

This week, it was announced that the Special Committee to Inquire into the Circumstances and Investigation of the Death of Ronald Greene, a House of Representatives select committee convened two or so years ago by Republican House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, had died from neglect, confirmed by GOP Speaker Pro Tem Tanner Magee with disparagement of the creation he served as chairman. Greene died in LSP custody after a car chase, low-speed crash, and his manhandling from his vehicle and on the ground for nearly ten minutes.

At first, the LSP implied Greene died in the crash, despite an initial media statement to the contrary and conveying information to Edwards that, with the media reports, made clear the actual circumstances. Despite that, for well over a year the LSP slow-walked internal and external investigations into the matter and Edwards and his office did not reveal key information to federal investigators. Indeed, he continued to propagate in public the discredited death-by-crash explanation and, according to Schexnayder, continued to insist privately on the same.


Any but small spending limit hike reckless

It’s not preferable, but the proposal to bust Louisiana’s spending cap is salvageable from its present imprudent state.

This week, the House Appropriations Committee went along partially with the gargantuan amounts contained in SCR 3 by Republican Pres. Page Cortez. As introduced, it would have raised the cap for this concluding fiscal year by $500 million and for the upcoming year by $1.8 million.

Supporters of the idea – which apparently includes the entire Senate and its Republican supermajority – pledge it all would go to one-time expenses such as transportation infrastructure. That would involve some three-card monte where infrastructure money in a budget not breaching the cap then becomes used for new ongoing commitments of questionable long-term sustainability given the looming disappearance of a sales tax hike in 2016, renewed in 2018, in fiscal year 2025 and an expected slowdown in revenue collection that together will drop incoming monies about $1.5 billion by then.


Triggered educrats act like hiding something

When educrats seem so triggered by a simple request, you have to suspect there’s something more to it than meets the eye.

HR 13 by Republican state Rep. Valarie Hodges would have required public schools and colleges to submit a written report of all campus programs and activities related to critical race theory; diversity, equity, and inclusion; or transformative social emotional learning. Documentation minimally would have included the purpose and expected outcome of each program or activity, a brief description of each program or activity, the number of personnel dedicated to the program or activity and the position and title of each, the total amount of funding expended to support the program or activity, and the total amount spent to support the program or activity with the amount that is state-funded.

That’s all. And it’s not difficult to do. For an example at the university level, a quick perusal of the University of Louisiana Monroe’s website reveals it has an Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with paid staff. It doles out fellowships to ULM staff. It sponsors events and forums. Along with other University of Louisiana System universities it awards a scholarship to black males – a gift likely to be under constitutional scrutiny before the month is out. Its Honors Program promotes the notion. Its English major with a concentration in music requires a “Diversity Equity Inclusion Elective.” And so on.