Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Potential redistricting of BR judges based on race

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BATON ROUGE - White voters in Baton Rouge have disproportionate influence in city court judge elections. Of the five available seats, three of the judges are elected from majority white district even though Baton Rouge is 60 percent African-American.

So state lawmakers are working to change that. Wednesday, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee approved a bill that would give majority African-American districts three seats, leaving the other two for white districts.

"People want to see people who look like them at some point," said bill sponsor Rep. Alfred Williams (D-Baton Rouge).

Civil rights groups have filed motions in federal court to redistrict city court judges. However Williams said if his bill becomes law, it could put an end to involvement by the higher court.



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