Over the weekend there was a bit of good news, though hardly unexpected, coming out of the Louisiana legislature. Namely, that legislators decided they weren’t going to play the idiotic game that the state’s Democrat machine – personified in this case by Gov. John Bel Edwards, the Legislative Black Caucus and a Baton Rouge partisan hack of a federal judge named Shelly Dick – had demanded of them.
Instead, they just decided to go home.
Louisiana lawmakers ended a special session Saturday saying they were unable to agree on a new congressional map that includes a second majority Black district as ordered by a federal judge, prompting an angry blast from the governor.
U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick on June 6 had struck down the state’s original U.S. House map approved earlier this year by lawmakers, one with white majorities in five of six districts. It retained a single majority-Black district currently held by U. S. Rep. Troy Carter, a New Orleans Democrat.
On Saturday, the Senate Senate spent two hours grappling with the remapping issue and then took an hourlong recess to see how proposed changes to a last-ditch bill might settle out. But the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Rick Ward III, R-Port Allen, said none of the proposed amendments presented could muster the 20-vote minimum needed for Senate approval, The Advocate reported.
“When you’re dealing with something like this, every time you satisfy four people you lose four people,” Ward told the Senate. “When you satisfy six people you lose seven over here. It is a difficult task.”
Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statement later Saturday lashing out at the lawmakers for failing to come up with a new map. Since the Legislature did not devise a new map in the session, it now appeared likely any remapping of boundaries would fall to the courts.
“It is disappointing that after every opportunity to do the right thing and create a second majority African-American congressional district as ordered by the U. S. Court for the Middle District the Legislature has once again failed to do so,” Edwards said.
The caterwauling from Edwards then metastasized into something else…
A federal judge will redraw the state’s congressional map after state lawmakers abruptly ended a special session two days early.
Saturday afternoon members of the Louisiana legislature decided there was no more moving forward with work to redraw the state’s congressional map.
Dillard University political analyst Robert Collins says, “I think we were surprised by the abrupt ending because we thought they would at least go through the motions and pretend to follow the judge’s order but no one is surprised by the result.”
On June 6, Federal Judge Shelly Dick ordered the special session saying lawmakers needed to add a second majority-black district or else she would redraw the map herself. Just four days into the six-day special session, talks grinded to a halt.
“The Republicans made it very clear that they had no incentive at all to vote in favor of a second black majority district,” Collins explained.
State Rep. Royce Duplessis, a democrat, says, “I think it’s disrespectful and quite frankly unacceptable that anybody especially a lawmaker could think they could leave this session without following a federal court order.”
“We had done the best we could with where we were and as Senator Ward said, we couldn’t get 20 votes to pass the bill. So at a certain point you just have to accept the fact that we’ve drawn what we believe is accurate is correct and is in the best interest of the state,” Republican State Sen. Cameron Henry said.
Dick is going to draw a map which essentially corresponds to the one Duplessis and Cleo Fields were pushing in the Legislature – and legislators rejected. Because of course they rejected it. It’s a racially gerrymandered map which does nothing to preserve community interests. It’s a Rorschach test and it’s unconstitutional. The current state of the law is that you can’t just use race in drawing congressional districts, and Shelly Dick knows this.
But she doesn’t care.
This entire exercise is nothing but a partisan power play by a Democrat Party which has blown out its legitimacy with the vast majority of the people of this state. The Democrats won’t even send up a viable candidate in any of the five congressional districts which aren’t specifically drawn as safe Democrat seats. They’re busily trying to figure out how to triangulate their way into backing RINO Republicans to get away from the failure of their brand in statewide elections and districts which aren’t majority-black.
Oblivion, or something close to it, beckons to them. And their only answer to it is to cheat.
The Fifth Circuit will hold a hearing on July 8 to discuss the appeal of Dick’s decision that the congressional map the Legislature passed earlier this year and then overrode Edwards’ veto of it was unconstitutional. All of the major players – including the Legislature, Attorney General Jeff Landry and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin – have now lawyered up with big-time DC election lawyers, and it’s a reasonable assumption their presentations at that Fifth Circuit hearing won’t be lacking.
The fact that the map the Legislature passed looks an awful lot like the one in force for the past decade which was not successfully challenged as unconstitutional makes it a reasonable assumption that the Fifth Circuit will blow Shelly Dick out of the water.
But it’s no longer enough to simply win against these abuses from a cabal of radical wreckers intent on authoritarian misrule. You’ve got to impose recriminations on them in order to dissuade them from further misdeeds.
My first suggestion would be that Julia Letlow, Clay Higgins and Mike Johnson ought to separately march into court and sue Dick in her capacity as a federal judge for drawing that 4-2 map as soon as it’s published. They can all file suit in the Western District of Louisiana, where the judges are quite friendly to the cause. It’s fairly likely one of them can get a decision from a Western District judge that the legislature’s map is constitutional and an order that it be enforced.
This would strengthen the case for the legislature’s map in front of the Fifth Circuit.
It might not be necessary to do this. We haven’t talked to anyone who believes the Fifth Circuit is going to uphold Dick’s decision on the legislature’s map. But it does make Dick look bad if there are federal judges elsewhere in the state repudiating her, and the action of drawing her own map might then be seen as something distinct from rejecting the legislature’s map. And since Dick’s map would be very likely to fundamentally alter all three of their districts, Johnson, Higgins and Letlow could well have a cause of action.
But there’s more to this. Namely that those three, plus Garret Graves and Steve Scalise ought to get together and file articles of impeachment against Shelly Dick.
This isn’t because they disagree with her on the constitutionality of the legislature’s map. It’s because she attempted to intimidate duly elected members of the Louisiana legislature, including a threat to put Clay Schexnayder, the Speaker of the House, in jail for contempt of court. And this was done because Schexnayder disagrees with her on the question of the legislature’s map and its constitutionality.
Everybody knows this was a ruse intended to induce the legislature to panic and pass a 4-2 map, which had it done so would have made moot any appeal of Dick’s rejection of the legislature’s duly-passed map. Which is a partisan political play thoroughly inappropriate to the portfolio of a federal judge.
Shelly Dick is not an independent, unbiased trier of fact. She’s a partisan hack. She’s no referee, she’s a player. And as a player she can get tackled and dunked on.
So dunk on her.
Bring the articles of impeachment and get headlines for doing so. Make the case that she’s unfit, and that way Google searches of Shelly Dick’s name will make her “controversial” and “embattled” and all the other adjectives which are applied to Republicans the other side attacks.
And yes, those articles won’t go anywhere in this Congress. That’s all right. In January when Republicans recover the House majority they can go forward.
This needs to be done because it’s no longer acceptable just to survive the Left’s aggressions. In Florida earlier this year, when the legislature passed and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill which would make it illegal for lunatics working in schools to sexualize kindergartners and first graders by preaching alternative sexualities to them, the woke groomers at Disney, who just destroyed their summer tentpole film Buzz Lightyear by including lesbian toys in the plot and are suffering for it at the box office, came out and made a big show of objecting to the anti-groomer bill.
Florida’s legislature responded by repealing Disney’s $200 million per year favorable tax treatment. And Disney’s C-suite is likely to completely turn over by the fall as its stock has plummeted. It will be quite some time before Disney presents itself as a political player again.
Slapping down leftist hackery and aggression is the only way to make the abuses stop. Shelly Dick must be slapped down, and hard. If she isn’t, the lesson will be that there are no consequences for partisan hackery from the federal bench in Louisiana.
We can also have the conversation about whether it isn’t finally time to impeach John Bel Edwards, too. Perhaps later this week we can do that.