BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB)- The make-up of the Baton Rouge City Court may likely change in the coming months. Currently, three white judges sit on the court with two black judges. That's about to change with Judge Susan Ponder retiring, according to some.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 states judicial districts will reflect the make-up of the community. The racial make-up in Baton Rouge after the 2010 census is 55 percent black and 34 percent white. A lawsuit has been filed in federal court, but the judge wanted the Louisiana Legislature to fix it.
Rep. Alfred Williams, D-Baton Rouge, is the author of the bill that failed on the House floor Tuesday by a vote of 44-40. Rep. Pat Smith, D-Baton Rouge is disappointed in the bill's failure.
"I can't speak for those folks," said Smith. "All I can say is somebody evidently told them that this wasn't the right thing to do."
So now, rather than a legislative mandate to change the make-up of the court, a lawsuit will determine who's right.