Friday, Nov. 4, 2011 | 4:46 p.m.
The Nevada Supreme Court today likely put an end to the legal battle over how to redraw the state’s political districts, freeing candidates up and down the ticket to launch delayed campaigns.
The court denied a petition by Secretary of State Ross Miller to intercede in Carson District Court Judge James T. Russell’s handling of the redistricting case. Russell recently signed off on new boundaries for Nevada’s congressional and legislative districts drawn by a panel of special court masters.
The supreme court’s action effectively clears the path for the new maps to become law unless Republicans or Democrats decide to file a formal appeal.
But both parties appear ready to abandon the legal fight. Democrats won most of the legal questions before the District Court and believe the maps are politically advantageous to them.
Republicans have had a difficult time finding a legal basis to form an appeal.
“Although we are still evaluating the appeal issue, the sentiment is the parties may be ready to move forward and just get on with elections instead of continuing to fight it out in court,” said Mark Hutchison, lawyer for the Nevada Republican Party.
A Democratic source close to the legal fight said it is highly unlikely the party would file an appeal.
Both parties asked the Nevada Supreme Court to deny Miller's petition, a signal that they are no longer interested in fighting over the maps.
Miller had asked that the Supreme Court review the legal decisions made in the case, despite the fact that Russell had already signed off on the maps. The court ruled that the only legal route for that review to occur would be through an appeal.