Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fitzgerald's Given till 5:30 this afternoon to decide to Draw New Redistricting Maps.

UPDATE  Wed: For the second day in a row, Republican lawmakers declined to revisit election maps they drew last year, setting the stage for a fast-track trial starting Thursday that will determine which political party has an advantage in this fall's elections.
UPDATE: Republican lawmakers said Tuesday they believe they have no power to make changes to election maps they approved last summer, inserting new questions into fast-changing litigation over those maps.

It looks like the judges are willing to let Republicans save face:
jsonline: In a surprise move, a federal three-judge panel told Republican legislative leaders Tuesday they should consider drawing new election maps taking into account challenges from Democrats and Latinos.

The court gave the Legislature until 5:30 p.m. to decide whether it wanted to revisit the maps it approved this summer. If it does not, the trial challenging the maps will resume Wednesday. If lawmakers agree to take up the maps, the court would give them until mid-March to approve them. At the opening of Tuesday's trial, presiding Judge J.P. Stadtmueller said, the plaintiffs have raised significant issues - particularly on the treatment of Latino areas and in the way it moved hundreds of thousands of people into new districts.

He said the panel's one-day pause was not to be taken as a signal of how it would rule on the merits. Stadtmueller was appointed by a Republican president.

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