Federal panel rules in redistricting plan dispute

JACKSON — A federal panel has given Mississippi lawmakers two choices: immediately craft a redistricting plan or run in the current districts in 2011.

The ruling came today in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the Mississippi chapter of the National Association for Colored People, which sought court action after lawmakers couldn’t agree on a redistricting plan during the regular session.

The panel says lawmakers will have to get federal pre-clearance for new maps. If lawmakers choose instead to run in current districts, the panel said new redistricting maps could be drawn by the 2012 Legislature.

The 122 Mississippi House districts and 52 Senate districts are updated after every census to reflect population changes and to uphold the constitutional principle of one-person, one-vote.

Source: AP

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