Louisiana Redistricting Cases:  the 1990s

Hays v. Louisiana839 F. Supp. 1188 (W.D. La. 1993), vacated and remanded for further consideration in light of Legislature's second congressional plan 114 S. Ct. 2731 (1994) (mem.)

The congressional plan enacted by the Legislature included two majority-minority districts. District 4 was a Z-shaped creature that zigzagged through all or part of 28 parishes and five of Louisiana's largest cities. It was attacked by plaintiffs who lived in the district. After the plan had been used for the 1992 election, it was struck down by the federal district court.

Congressional District 4 - 1992

Hays v. Louisiana862 F. Supp. 119 (W.D. La. 1994)

The Legislature then enacted a new plan for use in the 1994 election. District 4 was substantially altered so that instead of a "Z," it was more of a backslash, stretching from the northwest corner of the state, through Baton Rouge, southeast to New Orleans. Plaintiffs amended their complaint to attack the new District 4. The court likewise struck down the new district and substituted a plan of its own.  The Supreme Court stayed the order of the district court pending appeal. Hays v. Louisiana, 115 S. Ct. 31 (1994).

Congressional District 4 - 1994
U.S. v. Hays115 S. Ct. 2431 (1995)

In June of 1995, the Supreme Court vacated the decision of the district court.  It noted that the change in the shape of District 4 between the 1992 and 1994 elections had removed the plaintiffs from the district. Not living in the district, they did not have standing to complain about any representational harm the racially gerrymandered district lines might be causing.

Hays v. Louisiana, 936 F. Supp. 369 (W.D. La.1996)

A new complaint was filed by plaintiffs who lived in District 4. The federal district court again ruled the plan invalid and imposed the plan it had drawn in 1994.  The Louisiana Legislature enacted the court's plan, but the Justice Department, still insisting on maximizing the number of majority-minority districts, denied the plan preclearance. Since the Legislature's plan could not be put into effect without preclearance, the court's plan (which was identical) was used as an interim plan for the 1996 election.

Congressional District 4 - 1996

 State Contacts
Glenn Koepp 
Assistant Secretary of the Senate 
Capitol Station, P.O. Box 44290 
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9183 
504/342-5997 voice 
504/342-2368 fax 
Kathleen Randall 
House of Representatives 

Baton Rouge, LA