Nov 9, 2011- W.Va. Supreme Court to Hear Redistricting Arguments

By: Michael Hyland
By: Michael Hyland

People who've complained about how the House and Senate put their maps together will take their case to the Supreme Court next week.

Next week was already shaping up to be a busy and exciting week at the West Virginia Capitol with the swearing in ceremony and the election for Senate President.

Now, the West Virginia Supreme Court will also hear arguments in the redistricting case.

Several challenges have been filed, detailing perceived issues with the House and Senate's redistricting plans.

The complaints have centered largely around the belief that counties were divided up unnecessarily.

Attorney Thornton Cooper filed one of the complaints. He told me today, "They split up all these counties uneccesarily to comply not with the state constitution or to apply with the equal protection clause but to protect incumbents, so they don't have to run against each other. That's not what you're supposed to look at."

Justices will hear the arguments next Thursday at 10 a.m.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia's Supreme Court wants state officials to explain why the state's legislative redistricting plan shouldn't be thrown out.

The court ruled Wednesday that five pending challenges merit further review, and set a Nov. 17 hearing.

Three of these challenges target the redrawn House of Delegates districts. The other two oppose the new plan for the state Senate.

Each alleges the Legislature violated the West Virginia Constitution when it reset the House and Senate boundaries in response to the 2010 Census.

State election officials have said that they must know by Dec. 1 whether to use the redistricting plans for the 2012 elections.

Also pending is a federal lawsuit targeting the district boundaries of West Virginia's three seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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