State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell on Monday filed suit in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging Louisiana’s loss of one of its seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The federal reapportionment of the lower chamber of Congress resulted from the 2010 census.

However, Caldwell asserts in his suit that the census went beyond the constitutional mandate of counting “the number of lawful residents in each state” and instead also counted illegal foreign nationals and holders of student- and guest-worker visas. That methodology, Caldwell asserts, gave an unfair population advantage to states like California and Texas with high numbers of illegal and temporary foreign residents.

“Louisiana’s complaint simply asks the Court to require the federal government to recalculate the 2010 apportionment of U.S. House of Representative seats based on legal residents — just as the Constitution requires,”  Caldwell says in a press release announcing the suit.

Louisiana currently has seven representatives in the U.S. House, but that number will be reduced to six when the winners of next fall’s elections take the oath of office in January 2013. The Louisiana Legislature redrew the U.S. House districts this past spring, more or less eliminating the current 3rd Congressional District held by Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia. The redrawing sets up a showdown next year between Landry and 7th Congressional District Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette.

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