Objections pile up to court’s redistricting ruling

Some plaintiffs in the Alaska Redistricting lawsuit have asked the Alaska Supreme Court to halt implementation of the plan until the U.S. Department of Justice rules on it.

Attorney Michael Walleri filed a motion on Tuesday to stay the court’s ruling. The Fairbanks North Star Borough joined in the motion. The court has not yet ruled.

Walleri’s motion says the state should have federal pre-clearance on the plan for Alaska election district’s before they go into effect. Pre-clearance means the Justice Department has ruled that the plan conforms to the U.S. Voting Rights Act. Justice Department approval could take 60 days once the plan is filed with D-O-J.

The Division of Elections will be using the new maps in the August primary and November general election. Walleri argues that implementing the political districts prior to pre-clearance violates the federal Voting Rights Act.

Petersburg also will ask the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision. The City Council on Wednesday authorized its attorney to formally object to the court’s decision. Attorney Tom Klinkner said the only recourse is to file a motion for reconsideration, or rehearing.

Petersburg officials have repeatedly objected to being in a new legislative district with Juneau. They maintain the rural fishing town does not have enough in common with the much larger Capital City.

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