By Abby Hancock
Channel 2 News
10:11 AM AKDT, March 13, 2012
The debate over how to re-draw the state lines has reached the Alaska Supreme Court. Justices heard oral arguments Tuesday afternoon in a case about state redistricting plans.
In February, a Superior Court judge ruled that House Districts 1, 2, 37 and 38 do not comply with the law and should be re-drawn. The Alaska Redistricting Board challenged that ruling for District 37, which splits the Aleutian chain, and District 38 near Fairbanks. The board claims the way the House districts are drawn is in compliance with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, created to ensure minority representation.
Attorney Michael White is representing the Redistricting Board, and told state Supreme Court justices Tuesday that complying with the Voting Rights Act and the state constitution is a tough juggling act for the board.
The plaintiffs in the case are two Fairbanks-area residents who are asking the high court to uphold the Superior Court judge's decision.
"It really deprives the city of Fairbanks of any kind of representation in the Senate that its had for a long period of time," said Michael Walleri, attorney for the plaintiffs.
"i'm hoping we won't have to re-draw any of the other ones, House Districts 38 and 37. If we're forced to re-draw that could potentially cause ripple affects against a great portion of the state," White said.
The state Supreme Court has until April 1 to make a decision.
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