Louisiana Impasse Litigation (Berni)
Berni v. Ardoin
Lawsuit brought by individual voters challenging Louisiana’s congressional map based on 2010 census data following the release of 2020 census data. The petitioners ask the court to declare Louisiana’s currently enacted congressional district map unconstitutional and implement a new map using 2020 census data that adheres to the constitutional requirement of one person, one vote. The court denied the motion to dismiss the case, finding that the venue is proper (meaning that the lawsuit was filed in the right court) and “challenges to redistricting laws may be brought immediately upon release of official data showing district imbalance before reapportionment occurs.” The defendant, the Louisiana secretary of state, appealed this decision to the Louisiana Court of Appeals. The appellate court held that the lawsuit was filed in the wrong venue and should instead have been filed in the East Baton Rouge Parish, “where the Legislature would enact (or fail to enact) the new apportionment scheme” and the “decision of the Governor to sign or veto the apportionment scheme adopted by the Legislature would also occur.” The case was dismissed without prejudice.