Tuesday morning, Governor Jeff Landry opened his first special session to address the court order to redistrict the congressional districts of Louisiana as well as districts of the Louisiana Supreme Court.
This order to redistrict, which will make other election-related changes, comes from the need for the 30 percent Black population in Louisiana to be represented. This redistricting must create another majority Black district by the end of this eight day session called by Gov. Landry, or the burden will fall to a Baton Rouge federal Judge to do so.
Landry acknowledged in his address the long-overdue nature of this problem, referencing Louisiana’s 103 year period without redistricting Supreme Court districts.
He urged lawmakers to work together towards this common goal of not only redistricting, but also to change the state’s unique open primary system. Calling it a “relic of the past,” Landry seeks to change the practice of putting candidates running for state and congressional offices, despite their party, on one ballot, with the “primary” typically occurring in either October for odd-numbered years or in November for even-numbered years.
Landry wants to switch to the widespread use of a primary system that allows major parties to pick their own candidate for the ballot.
“It is about fairness. It is about simplicity. It is about clarity,” says Landry.