Louisiana residents are subject to Louisiana state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Louisiana as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Louisiana also has its own state laws. Louisiana state laws include the Louisiana Constitution, laws passed by the Louisiana legislature and periodically codified in the Louisiana Laws, and decisions by courts that interpret Louisiana laws.
The current version of the Louisiana Constitution took effect in 1975. Article XIII of the Constitution provides the procedures for amendments, which may arise from legislative referral or a constitutional convention. A legislatively referred amendment will appear on a ballot if two-thirds of each chamber of the Louisiana State Legislature vote in its favor. An amendment that affects five or fewer parishes or municipalities must be approved not only by a majority of voters statewide but also by a majority in the affected areas. Also, the legislature can call for a constitutional convention if two-thirds of each chamber vote in favor. The legislature does not need to get approval from voters to set up a constitutional convention.
The Louisiana Laws contain the laws passed by the Louisiana legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Louisiana Constitution are often interpreted by the Louisiana Supreme Court and the five Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal. Three federal district courts in Louisiana also issue decisions that may affect Louisiana residents. These are the Eastern, Middle, and Western District Courts of Louisiana. The federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by federal district courts in Louisiana. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Fifth Circuit or from the Louisiana Supreme Court.