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Will Federal Judges Sort Out Mississippi Redistricting?

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 08 Apr 2011 11:13am | comments

The Mississippi legislative redistricting process appears to be headed to court, now that the legislators have ended their session without voting on new districts. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that it is not uncommon for courts to be involved in state redistricting.

The legislature ended its session last week without drawing new voting districts....which is required by the state constitution every ten years to adjust for shifts in population.

University of Mississippi Political Scientist John Windburn says now that law makers have gone home, it won't be long before either the Governor or the courts get involved.

"I think over the next week or so, we are going to know if they are going to get anything done during the special session or if it is just going to work its way through the court system," Windburn said.

Windburn says ten years ago courts were involved in redistricting in roughly half the states and the judges have broad power to set voting districts.

"Courts usually will step in and implement either some version of the plans that are already out there, or introduce their own plan. That type of thing," Windburn said.

The NAACP has already filed suit to stop elections under current district lines...windburn says it is hard to predict what will happen if redistricting ends up in court.

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