ID Supreme Court Hears Challenges to Redistricting Plan

Jan 5, 2012

BOISE, ID – The future of state legislative districts is in the hands of the Idaho Supreme Court.  The five justices heard arguments Thursday in a challenge to the Redistricting Commission’s newly drawn map.

A number of Southern Idaho counties and cities filed suit against the redistricting plan known as L-87.  Twin Falls County prosecutor Grant Loebs represents these political entities.  He argues the Commission‘s plan violates the Idaho Constitution because it divides counties more than is necessary to satisfy the U.S. Constitution.

Grant Loebs:  “To satisfy the one man – one vote criteria, you must divide districts into essentially equal sizes.  And if you must divide a county to do that, then you divide that county.”

Brian Kane of the Idaho Attorney General’s Office defends the Redistricting Commission.  He says the people of Idaho gave the panel discretion to choose a plan that meets constitutional requirements.

Brian Kane:  The Court is being asked to micromanage what they’ve done when from everything that’s been presented they have done nothing but try to fulfill their duty.

The justices will issue a ruling in the near future.  They’ll decide if the current map stays or if a new commission has to draw new legislative boundaries.  Idaho’s Secretary of State says the clock is ticking to be ready in time for primary elections in May.  Meanwhile, a separate Northern Idaho challenge to the Redistricting Commission’s plan is scheduled for an Idaho Supreme Court hearing on January 19th.

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