A panel of district judges will draw the state’s new Congressional map, according to Bloomberg. Here is the report:
Mississippi federal judges said they will draw up a new map of congressional districts in the state, according to a filing in federal court.
A panel of three U.S. judges in Jackson, Mississippi, gave the parties in a lawsuit over the redistricting until Dec. 12 to object to the court’s authority to devise a map, according to a docket entry today.
The judges also gave the parties until Dec. 12 to comment on a redistricting proposal in a new lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court in Jackson. That suit was brought by black voters against state officials including Republican Governor Haley Barbour.
The problem with the legislature finishing their work is the deadline. The new legislative session begins on January 3. The qualifying deadline for Congressional races is January 13 and the primaries will take place in March. In that time frame, their is just no possible way to complete the maps and get them approved by the feds. And remember, these talks never came up in the last session which was dominated by legislative redistricting.
Some people have talked of a special session but Haley Barbour long maintained that he wouldn’t call one unless a deal was in place. That deal, between the Democratic House and Republican Senate, never occurred and that Democratic majority in the House is now on its way out so there is no real reason to give Tommy Reynolds and company one last seat at the table.
But as we have talked about all along- this is about minor details mainly between Bennie Thompson and Gregg Harper. Obviously to the people this impacts, Northeast Jackson in particular, it’s an issue but in the grand scheme it won’t affect any elections. MS-02 will still be majority black and safe for Thompson or any Democrat while MS-03 will remain safe for Harper and the GOP. As MS-01 and MS-04 have shown a certain independent streak at times, these districts are certainly the safest in the state for the respective parties.