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Unconstitutional laws remain on Louisiana law books

3 years 2 months 3 weeks ago July 30, 2013 Jul 30, 2013 Tuesday, July 30 2013 July 30, 2013 9:33 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Ryan Naquin

BATON ROUGE - A deeper look into Louisiana laws show the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled several unconstitutional but the statutes have not been taken off the books.

After gay men were arrested on an unconstitutional law in Baton Rouge, News 2 investigated to find out if more laws are unenforceable and could cause trouble if were used to make arrests.

As far as how many are out there, no branch of state government could get a solid answer because it seems no one is checking.

"I think that probably it just wasn't addressed," District Attorney Association Executive Director Pete Adams said.

Other laws on the books in Louisiana have been struck down by the Supreme Court and cannot be prosecuted, including abortion and burning the American flag.

"I think you'd have to talk to legislatures to find out why it hasn't been address to clarify or to repeal," Adams said.

When laws are overturned at the federal level, lawmakers here are supposed to update the books.

"Part of the reason is who wants to be the person to say I want to repeal flag desecration statute. It's still on the books," Adams said.

But even with those unconstitutional decision, some still believe having it as a state law is important.

"If you burn the American flag, it should be a stiff penalty...period," Harvest Reynolds said.

News 2 tried to contact representatives and senators on committees who amend laws. None could be reached for comment.

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said he has not looked into what laws can no longer be enforced because state legislators have not asked.  But, he said he would if a lawmaker requested it.


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