U.S. SC upholds W.Va. congressional redistricting

Chris Dickerson Sep. 25, 2012, 10:43am


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The United State Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed a lower court ruling, saying the congressional redistricting plan adopted by West Virginia leaders last year is fine.

The Court says the three-judge District Court panel "failed to afford appropriate deference" to the West Virginia Legislature's "reasonable exercise of its political judgment" when it redrew the districts following the 2010 Census.

The Jefferson County Commission originally filed the suit, alleging the redistricting plan violated the "one person, one vote" principle of the U.S. Constitution. The commission argued that a small population variance between the state's three congressional districts was too great.

In January, the three-judge panel denied a motion by West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler, House of Delegates Speaker Rick Thompson, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant officials for an immediate stay of a previous ruling issued in the redistricting lawsuit when U.S. Circuit Judge Robert B. King and U.S. District Judge Irene Berger ruled the districts unconstitutional, and U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey dissented.

In Tuesday's unsigned opinion, the Justices said the adopted plan the population variations are too small to trigger constitutional concerns about the principle of "one person, one vote."

To view the entire article, visit the West Virginia Record.

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