New job sought for Law Institute

The Louisiana Law Institute would be charged with identifying laws on the books that have been deemed unconstitutional under a bill that cleared a state Senate panel on Tuesday.

The legislation, Senate Bill 180 sponsored by state Sen. Rick Gallot, D-Ruston, won quick approval by the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Gallot said there is no current mechanism to take a law off the books that has been deemed unconstitutional and thus unenforceable.

He said the question came up as a result of education reform measures approved by the Legislature - some of which have been thrown out by the courts.

“There are probably plenty of laws on the books that are still sitting there,” Gallot said.

Under SB180, the Law Institute would identify the unconstitutional laws and provide a report to the Legislature.

“It sets in place a mechanism, a process we would go through,” said Gallot.

The Legislature would still have to act to take the statutes off the books, he said.

Submitting cards supporting the measure were lobbyists for the Louisiana Sheriffs Association and Louisiana Progress Action.

SB180 now moves to the Senate floor for debate.