Home » NEWS » Lawmakers joining NAACP lawsuit over redistricting

Lawmakers joining NAACP lawsuit over redistricting

JACKSON — Mississippi’s redistricting battle has become more complex, and with less than two weeks left in the legislative session it is unclear whether the debate will be resolved in the state Capitol or in a federal courtroom.

The House Elections Committee voted along party lines yesterday to join a federal lawsuit filed by the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Ten Democrats voted to become a party to the lawsuit, and four Republicans were against it.

House Elections Committee chairman Tommy Reynolds, D-Charleston, said that by joining the lawsuit, the panel is trying to maintain a voice in the redistricting process if it is settled in federal court. He said the committee would be able to present maps in court if it is part of the litigation.

The NAACP seeks to block elections this year under Mississippi’s current 122 House districts and 52 Senate districts, which were put in place after the 2000 census. The civil rights group says because of population changes over the past decade, some districts have too many residents and some have too few and that violates the constitutional principle of one-person, one-vote.

Legislators have been trying for weeks to draw new district lines to account for shifts revealed by the 2010 census, including growth in DeSoto County, just south of Memphis, Tenn., and loss of populations in parts of the economically struggling Delta.

Traditionally, each chamber draws its own map and the other chamber rubber stamps it.

At the urging of Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, the Republican-controlled Senate bucked tradition this year by rejecting a plan by the Democratic-controlled House.

House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, said last week that because the Senate ignored the procedure that’s been followed for decades, he would not appoint negotiators to work on a final version of the House map. The House and Senate maps are included in a single resolution, so both are in limbo.

Talks between the chambers appear to be at a standstill.

Rep. Mark Baker, R-Brandon, was one of the four House Elections Committee members who voted against intervening in the federal lawsuit. He said the vote was “just a dog and pony show.”

Source: The Associated Press


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Megan Wright


  1. The NAACP is not a government body. Why are you even listening to them? We do not have a House of Representatives a Senate and a NAACP branch of government. By considering them at all, you devalue your positions as state lawmakers and elevate the NAACP to the positions of “lawmakers”. Why are you even considering them at all? Do your jobs. I’m sure no one elected the NAACP to govern our state.

Leave a Reply