State Capitol News
5:53 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Plaintiffs Have Asked Court Not to Re-Draw State Districts

A federal court will not upset the lines drawn for the state's 30 legislative districts -- at least not this year. 

The lawsuit filed in federal court by Republican interests charges the Independent Redistricting Commission acted improperly in coming up with the maps. Challengers want a three-judge panel to review those maps and, if they find problems, issue an injunction blocking them from being used in this year's election. But attorney Mike Liburdi said he is pulling the plug on that request.

"The decision's been made to go forward with the litigation without the preliminary injunction motion, just because the timing aspect was just not -- it just wasn't there," Liburdi said. 

Liburdi said the lawsuit could not be filed until the Department of Justice approved the lines late last month. But none of that changes the fact the deadline for candidates to file is May 30 -- and 49 candidates already have submitted their nominating papers. Deferring the challenge until the 2014 race has political implications. Legal issues aside, Republicans contend the maps were drawn to increase the chances of Democrats getting elected. If that proves to be true, this year's election could break the strong GOP grip on the Legislature, where Republicans have 21 of 30 Senate seats and 40 of the 60 spots in the House.