A judge has sent the state’s redistricting plan back to the drawing board again. Superior Court Judge Micheal McConahy on Friday rejected the board’s revised plan for new legislative boundaries.
The board redrafted parts of its plan back in March. That was after the Alaska Supreme Court justices had found the board didn’t meet requirements under the state constitution while trying to comply with the federal voting rights act. The Justices told the board at that time it had to rewrite the plan so that it first complied with state law and only then “make revisions that deviate from the Alaska Constitution when deviation is the only means available to satisfy Voting Rights Act requirements.”
That Supreme Court decision was the result of a legal challenge from two Fairbanks-area residents. They filed another objection to the revised plan this past week, as did seven other parties including the Fairbanks Northstar Borough and the City of Petersburg. All claimed the board failed to comply with the Supreme Court order.
Superior Court Judge McConahy agreed. In his six-page ruling on Friday, McConahy wrote that the board did not comply with either the spirit or the letter of the order. The Board or other parties have five days from the order to ask for an emergency review by the state Supreme Court.
- Indian Country status in Alaska would afford the same protections as reservation lands in the Lower 48.
- To many, ivory means dead elephants wasting away in the sun. "What they don’t see is walrus ivory, legal harvest, food on the table, economic benefit to rural Alaskans,” says biologist Gay Sheffield.
- “We don’t want to move quickly at all costs,” said Alaska BP regional manager David VanTuyl. “We don’t want to rush into the largest energy project in North America that only ends up losing lots of money for all of us.”
- Sealaska’s newest board member will continue to push for election and management changes. At least one long-time board member says she's willing to listen.