Three-Judge Panel Rules in Favor of Secretary of State
Jackson, MS—A three-judge federal panel has ruled in favor of the Secretary of State’s position that the State Constitution should be followed regarding the redistricting process and has ordered legislators run under the old legislative district lines in the 2011 election cycle.
“The federal court has ruled in favor of protecting our State’s right to redistrict without federal intervention until the Constitutional process has been exhausted,” says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. “From the beginning, it was important for me to protect the State Constitution which protects us every day.”
In a Memorandum Opinion and Order issued by Judges E. Grady Jolly, Tom S. Lee, and Louis Guirola, Jr., the Judges state:
· “…We agree with the Secretary of State’s position that imposition of a remedy is premature and allow the 2011 legislative elections to proceed under the present districts…” Meaning, legislators will run under the same district lines pursuant to the 2002 redistricting plan.
· “…The plain language of the Mississippi Constitution thus demonstrates that under State law the Legislature is not required to reapportion itself until its regular session in 2012…” Section 254 of the State Constitution states, in part, “The Legislature shall at its regular session in the second year following the 1980 decennial census and every (10) years thereafter…apportion the state in accordance with the Constitution of the State…”
· “…we are certain that it is the most respectful of all proposals to the principles of federalism, to the unchallenged laws of the State of Mississippi, to the holdings of the Supreme Court of the United States, and to the proper placement of responsibility of reapportionment—the Legislature of the State of Mississippi.”
“With this order,” adds Secretary Hosemann, “our citizens have retained their Constitutional right to select their representatives.”