NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Latest on a federal court ruling that the system for electing judges in Louisiana’s Terrebonne Parish discriminates against black voters (all times local):
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Office is criticizing a federal judge’s finding that the system for electing judges in a coastal parish discriminates against black voters.
Landry’s office didn’t say in a statement emailed Friday whether it would appeal U.S. District Judge James Brady’s ruling on judicial elections in Terrebonne Parish.
Gov. John Bel Edwards’ spokesman said in an email the decision was under review.
Landry’s office noted that a black judge has been elected in the Terrebonne-based 32nd Judicial District.
Brady’s ruling acknowledged that, but cited the state’s long refusal to establish a majority black sub-district in Terrebonne as evidence of discrimination. It also noted that a white judge was re-elected in the parish even after being disciplined in 2004 for donning blackface and prison garb at a Halloween party.
A federal judge says the system for electing state judges in a coastal Louisiana court district discriminates against black voters.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge James Brady in Baton Rouge comes in a 2014 lawsuit over voting practices in Terrebonne Parish, southwest of New Orleans.
Black voters and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said the practice of electing five judges in parish-wide elections dilutes the African-American vote. Brady agreed, and said there was evidence of discriminatory intent in the Legislature’s refusal to carve out a majority black judicial district within the parish.
Brady said he will set a date for a conference to discuss remedies.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund praised Thursday’s ruling in a news release. Louisiana’s attorney general’s office said it would have a response later Friday.
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