The Law Says Create Another Majority Black District. Republicans Still Say No.
I am completely indifferent to the fact the state Republicans are beating black people out of another majority black district. Also known as a House seat. This is a strange place to be. I feel, well I know, I should be more concerned. But that thought is running a distant second to whether I should have another beer or not. Don’t judge. It is literally after noon. And it’s a nice day out – 70 something degrees, low humidity and the sun is shining. An appropriate time for having such thoughts.
I am supposed to construct some thoughts on the subject, the district, not the beer.
I completed the prewriting process. Brainstorming as some call it. It involved an unnecessary amount of pacing, deleting, and staring out of the window with a beer in hand. Apparently, this is not novel.
An exaggerated crack of the knuckles. Let us begin.
Louisiana is losing white people. And gaining black people. For some, this is not a welcomed development. According to the last census, black people now make up 33% of the state. Law dictates that proportional representation is due. And the black population in the state equals a third. So, two majority black districts out of the six the state has should be majority black. This is simple math, even by Louisiana’s educational standards. But Republicans have stalled in court.
It’s been one excuse after another. During a legislative session, Republicans said creating a majority black district would be racist. Then they redrew the district maps giving the present majority black district a bigger majority. This was supposed to be proportional representation. The governor vetoed the map. They overrode it. The governor called a special session, and a judge told Republicans if they didn’t create another majority black district, she’d do it for them. They didn’t. But the Supreme Court reversed course. It decided not to force the state to immediately redraw its map. Now the issue is stuck in 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Google says this stalling has been going on for over a year.
A whole ass year. Indifference is giving way to intrigue.
Under what scenario would Republicans willingly dilute their power? To create a majority black district, they’d have to give up a district. They’d do this knowing that the new district would most likely go to the Democrats. That would give Democrats an additional seat in Congress, and Republicans one less. This scenario would not go over well with Republicans. In fact, the national Republican Party would be livid. The person giving up their seat would be enraged. Machiavelli would be furiously clawing the coffin in his grave. Power is not something you willingly give up. So, in what Republican run world would creating the district make any political sense?
4:23pm (after much staring out of the window)
The law is the law. No dispute there. The problem is time. Isn’t it always? Republicans now say they need more of it, preferably an indefinite amount that stretches from here to infinity. Practically, they’d prefer to wait until after next year’s midterm elections to get this done.
A strange conundrum: creating a majority black district would be introducing race into the redistricting process. That’s a federal no-no. But a law dictating that a majority black district should be created already introduces race into the redistricting process, making it a federal yes yes. Is that a paradox or a contradiction? I need another beer.
The Pilsner I have is sublime, a complex combination of malt and hops. It comes in at 5.4%, the higher ABV end for a Pilsner. But the stout, good lord the stout, imperial, aged and exquisite. Colombian chocolate, combined with vanilla beans. We are not talking Budweiser or Heineken here. It’s seasonal. Only 50 bottles were made. It bangs out at 10.4%. Clearly this is not a daytime drink. But wait, I am a New Orleanian. So…what to do, what to do? It seems I am awash in conundrums.
The Supreme Court refuses to act again because it doesn’t want to get involved in a local appeals process. The NAACP lawyer representing on behalf of the district is not worried. He says eventually the clock will run out. Then a court ordered conference will take place, and another majority black district will be created before next year’s midterms. Others are not so optimistic.
How many people actually care about this? It’s football season. There’s something going around about Will and Jada. The House doesn’t have a speaker. Two people flipped on Trump. Israel and Hamas are at it again. There are Halloween costumes to consider. Where does a majority black district rank in all of this?
I think I’m done. Not just because I want to freely drink beer. I came in indifferent but am leaving engaged. Somebody get our Secretary of State on the phone. What’s up with all this stalling, Kyle? And if you had to choose, stout or Pilsner?