The board members were not at all pleased with the Supreme Court's decision that had them redo their Proclamation Plan.
They revised it, though they were clearly annoyed.
But Judge McConahy has just ruled in drawing the second proclamation plan, they had not complied with the letter or the spirit of the Supreme Court's charge to follow the "Hickel Process" meaning they had to first draw districts that met the Alaska constitutional requirements. Only then could they make the most minimal adjustments necessary to the constitutional standards, so that it complies with the federal Voting Rights Act. McConahy basically told them to start from scratch.
The board is clearly not going to be in a good mood. The Supreme Court has to rule on whether any state constitutional deviations are necessary to comply with the VRA and are the absolute minimal necessary. Without a benchmark plan that is constitutional, they argued, how can they tell if the final plan does the least violation to the constitutional requirements? I understand that, but having watched the board working on these maps, I recognize that this is not an easy process. I think that they have to make the constitutional plan, but they cannot do it without keeping the VRA requirements in mind.
Here's the agenda for the meeting.
BOARD MEETING AGENDA
Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 11:30 AM
1. CALL TO ORDER
2. ROLL CALL
3. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
4. LEGAL OVERVIEW OF SUPERIOR COURT DECISION5. EXECUTIVE SESSION
The legal overview, presumably presented by board attorney Michael White, will, I suspect, be the highlight of the meeting.
I would also guess that this new plan will not be ready in time for the June 1 candidate filing deadline for the November election. If not, the interim plan would go into effect. But will it be the interim plan they submitted with this recently rejected plan? Or the original proclamation plan? Or will there be a new interim plan?
Will all the districts now be subject to change throwing everything into uncertainty?
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