City of Monroe Agrees to March Council Elections

The City of Monroe, through City Attorney Nancy Summersgill, has agreed to scheduling the election for the Monroe City Council for March 24, 2012, followed by a general election on April 21, 2012.

This was the original date for the elections until they were pushed back to November of 2012 because it was thought a delay in redistricting would violate the city’s charter.

Earlier this month, a federal lawsuit was filed challenging the November election date. The plaintiffs – District Five Councilman Eddie Clark and Monroe citizen Byrd Minter – alleged that delaying the elections deprived them of equal protection afforded by the U. S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, and also violated numerous provisions in the city charter.

From the proposed remedial order:

…finding that the most effective and least intrusive remedy available to the Court is to conduct the election for members for the City Council for the City of Monroe at the regularly scheduled elections of March 24, 2012 and April 21, 2012, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED, that recognizing that the election districting plan approved by the City of Monroe on November 22, 2011 receives preclearance by the United States Justice Department under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act on December 21, 2011, Defendant, Tom Schedler, as the Secretary of State for the State of Louisiana, and Defendant, Louise Bond, as the Clerk of Court for Ouachita Parish, shall:

(1) conduct qualifying by candidates for a position on the City Council for the City of Monroe on January 11, 12 and 13, 2012 at the time and place, and under such procedure as shall otherwise be required by law;

(2) conduct the primary elections for the candidates for a position on the City Council for the City of Monroe on March 24, 2012, and conduct all general elections on April 21, 2012, at the time and place, and under such procedure as shall otherwise be required by law; and

(3) take such other actions as the Defendant, Tom Schedler in his official capacity as the Secretary of State, and Defendant, Louise Bond in her official capacity as the Clerk of Court for Ouachita Parish shall deem necessary to meet the election procedures of the State of Louisiana and conduct the election of members to the City Council for the City of Monroe on the dates specified herein;

The proposed order has been signed off on by Summersgill, who is counsel for the City of Monroe defendants.

Attorney for the plaintiffs is Monroe’s Paul Hurd.

It is unclear at this time if the Louisiana Secretary of State (SOS) – who is also a defendant – has signed off on the proposed remedy.

A status conference among the parties is scheduled for 11:00 AM tomorrow (Friday, December 30).

See here the documents.

Joint Stipulation of Uncontested Facts – State
Joint Stipulation of Uncontested Facts – City
Minute Entry
Proposed Remedial Order

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