Nev. SC resolves redistricting dispute

Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 7, 2011, 11:00am


CARSON CITY, Nev. (Legal Newsline) - The Nevada Supreme Court on Friday denied a petition by Secretary of State Ross Miller to intervene in a court-conducted redistricting process.

Carson District Court Judge James T. Russell handled the process and approved the newly-drawn maps on Oct. 27.

Even with Russell's OK, Miller had asked the state's high court to review the legal decisions made in the case.

The Court, in its five-page order, said the issues raised by Miller would be "best reviewed" through a direct appeal of the district court's final order.

"Piecemeal consideration of limited redistricting issues would be imprudent given the existence of a final order by the district court and the special timing concerns for the 2012 election," the Court wrote.

At issue was whether the redistricting process being conducted by the district court should be permitted to continue.

According to state law, it is necessary and appropriate for Nevada state courts to intervene when the legislative process has not produced a redistricting plan and when parties will be "injured" absent action by the courts.

Miller first filed a motion to stay the proceedings. However, the Court denied his motion and permitted the district court and the court-appointed special masters to go ahead with the process.

The special masters subsequently held public hearings, drew maps based on criteria provided by the district court and public input, and on Oct. 14 published proposed plans for the state's new legislative and congressional districts.

Miller then filed an emergency petition for writ of mandamus to intervene in the process.

Given the Court's ruling Friday, the new maps will become law unless Republicans or Democrats decide to file an appeal -- which doesn't look likely, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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