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Jan 5, 2012- W.Va. Officials Will Appeal Redistricting Decision

By: Michael Hyland
By: Michael Hyland

Several of West Virginia's political leaders announced their plan to appeal a federal ruling that threw out the state's new congressional redistricting map.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP & WSAZ) - West Virginia officials plan to appeal the federal ruling against the state's congressional redistricting plan.

Officials announced Thursday that they will petition the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Redistricting is properly a legislative function,” said Senate President Jeff Kessler in a statement. “We believe the action taken by the West Virginia Legislature was constitutional and well considered.”

In the meantime, Kessler and other political leaders will seek an immediate stay of Tuesday's U.S. District Court decision.

In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of federal judges concluded that lawmakers failed to provide sufficiently equal districts for the state's three U.S. House of Representatives seats. The ruling sets a Jan. 17 deadline for a new plan.

The Legislature responded to the 2010 Census results by moving Mason County from the 2nd Congressional District to the 3rd.

Jefferson County's Commission challenged the redistricting plan along with Kanawha County lawyer Thornton Cooper. They argue that the U.S. and state constitutions require more equal and compact congressional districts.

Members of the Kanawha County Commission announced their support for the request for a stay.

They also criticized the idea of judges picking a map without public input.

They called on the final map to leave Kanawha County intact and in the 2nd district.
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