The Alaska Redistricting Board wants the state Supreme Court to reconsider a recent decision to redraw the state's political boundaries, according to The Associated Press (via the Juneau Empire).
In a petition filed this week, attorneys representing the board claim the court overlooked or misunderstood crucial facts and that the court misstepped when it failed to answer whether or not the plan adopted by the board was constitutional. The board's attorneys also claim the court violated the separation of powers doctrine.
Attorneys Michael White and Nicole Corr wrote in Monday's filing:
This court reviews a redistricting plan just as it does a regulation adopted by an administrative agency by giving deference to the factual or policy determinations of the Board and refraining from substituting its judgment for that of the Board expect on questions of law.
This court rejects the Board's chosen process of reapportionment, a task exclusively given to the Board by the Alaska Constitution, by implying the Board should have changed more districts than it did despite the Board's rationale and reasoning exhibited in its explicit detailed findings.
On Dec. 28, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the plan, authored by the state's redistricting board, had violated court-ordered procedures by adhering to the U.S. Voting Rights Act first, with compliance with the Alaska State Constitution a secondary consideration.
The court, in its split decision, found that the redistricting board should have utilized a process that gave deference to Alaska's Constitution, only straying from compliance where necessary to meet the requirements of the Voting Rights Act. Read more