(T)he bottom line is that Louisiana as a whole has been losing population at least since the 1970s as evidenced by congressional redistricting in the 1980s and 1990s.
When the Legislature redrew the congressional district lines in 1981 and 1982, the map had to be manipulated to accommodate the incumbent congressmen who wanted to assure their re-election.
But even then, there was discussion about the loss of population and the probability that the state would lose a congressional seat after the 1990 census.
Indeed, the prediction came true when the 8th District was erased, leaving the state with just seven districts and forcing then-Congressmen Clyde Holloway of Forest Hill and Richard Baker of Baton Rouge into a bitter heads-up battle that left a rift in parts of the Republican Party that can be recognized today.
After the 2010 census, the state will likely have only six congressional districts, all of them larger than the existing districts because each will have to expand to gather in enough people to meet the guidelines for one man, one vote.
What has been happening cannot be ignored. The questions are why and how can it be stopped?