Immune to bad weather and disease, laws are perhaps Louisiana's most reliable crop, with fresh statutes sprouting by the hundreds each year regardless of the state's political climate, says the Baton Rouge Advocate. Some laws stay on the books. Others expire by judicial decree. But in Louisiana, some invalidated criminal laws — from an anti-sodomy law to one creating the crime of defamation — remain on the books for decades even after being ruled unconstitutional.
That places law enforcement agencies in the awkward position of arresting people for a violation that, whether they know it or not, prosecutors can't and won't pursue. That may be changing. Legislators have ordered a comprehensive review of state laws declared unconstitutional by a final court judgment. The reports, to be done biennially by the non-partisan Louisiana Law Institute, will recommend to lawmakers whether to repeal or revise any laws discovered to be unconstitutional.