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March 20, 2018

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Damon Political Report

Ross Miller asks Nevada Supreme Court to intervene in redistricting case

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Ross Miller

Secretary of State Ross Miller has asked the Nevada Supreme Court to enter the legal battle over redistricting, arguing that the Carson City judge in charge of the lawsuit over how the state should redraw its political boundaries has “impermissibly abdicated” his duty to decide legal issues critical to the case.

In an emergency writ filed with the supreme court this afternoon, Miller accused Carson District Judge James Todd Russell of failing to “resolve many of the critical legal issues that will directly impact how the maps must be drawn.”

After a lengthy hearing last month, Russell ordered three special masters to redraw the state’s congressional, assembly and senate boundaries. While Russell set the legal perimeters the masters must use to redraw the lines, he failed to rule on any of the questions brought up by both Republicans and Democrats.

The central question involves how the Voting Rights Act should be interpreted when it comes to drawing a district with a majority of Hispanic voters. Republicans argue the court must draw a majority-minority district, while Democrats argue that amounts to packing minorities into a single district.

In addition to the Voting Rights Act question, Miller said Russell failed to decide the question of which population measure to use and the meaning of “representational fairness.”

Russell has ordered the three court masters to hold two public hearings and then submit maps to the court by Oct. 21.

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