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A Ruling By Three Judges Could Signal The End Of The Fight Over Redistricting

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 20 Nov 2012 06:12pm | comments

A ruling by a three judge federal panel could finally bring an end to a nearly two year political battle over Mississippi's 174 house and senate districts. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports the judges have rejected a lawsuit calling for a new election.

"The real loser, with that order, are the voters that live in over populated house and senate districts,"

That's NAACP lawyer Carroll Rhodes.

Rhodes says he is disappointed with the ruling throwing out an NAACP lawsuit calling for a new legislative election under new lines.

The lawsuit claimed the districts used in the 20-11 legislative election were too unbalanced, and asked for a new election with more balanced districts.

The ruling was issued without comment and could represent the final challenge in the Mississippi's nearly two year long fight over how to redraw voting districts to account for changes in population.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann , saying this was the right decision and shows that Mississippi's political process can work.

"That is a strong voice. They didn't feel like they had to address anything else, or get into any type of opinion because they felt so strongly our position was correct," Hosemann said.

NAACP lawyer Carroll Rhodes says the ruling leaves two options.

"The fact that we have a decision now, that is good to know that we can no consider what our next steps should be. (What are your options?) We could appeal back to the United States Supreme Court or we could leave it alone," Rhodes said.

Rhodes says that decision will come in the next several weeks.

Without an appeal, the newly redrawn districts will stand and law makers will not have to run again until the regularly scheduled 2015 legislative elections.

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