First Time In 3 Decades, Louisiana Lawmakers Say No To Veto
Yesterday afternoon, members of Louisiana's House and Senate did something that hasn't been done in Louisiana in thirty one years.
Collectively, the group drew a line in the sand, and overturned Governor John Bel Edwards' veto of their proposed Congressional re-districting map.
Why The Governor Vetoed The Map To Begin With
The Governor was adamant that he wanted the new map to include two, not one, majority black districts, and the map presented to him by Louisiana's Congress failed to increase the number of districts to two.
In a story from the Louisiana Radio Network, we read that cheering and applause erupted in the House after Speaker Clay Schexnayder read the final vote, stating, "72 yeas, 31 nays have the veto has been overridden."
After passing, the issue quickly moved to the Louisiana Senate where there was heated debate before the veto was also overridden by a vote of 27 to 11.
How Often Does Something Like This Happen in Louisiana?
This marks the first time Louisiana lawmakers have overturned a Governor's veto since June 18, 1991 when they overturned Governor Buddy Roemer's veto of a restrictive anti-abortion bill.
If you recall, it was just last summer when lawmakers failed in their attempt to overturn Edwards' veto of a bill that would ban transgender athletes from competing as their "chosen" gender.
To understand just how rare this type of legislation is, it's only the second time Louisiana legislators have passed a veto overturn since 1900.
Why Was This Veto Overruling So Important To Its Proponents?
Defending the action, Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt says that black populations were not dense enough in separate areas to create the Governor's desired two majority-minority districts.
Hewitt says, “Form the voting rights act that says nothing in this section establishes a right to have members of a protected class elected in numbers equal to their proportion in the population.”
Of Course, This Isn't The End Of The Issue
Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields says he expects a lawsuit to be filed challenging the Congressional District Map and for courts to toss it out.
In a separate article from lailluminator.com, we see what Governor Edwards had to say of the overturned veto, "I’m obviously disappointed. I’m certainly not surprised."