By Casey Kelly, KTOO
The Alaska Supreme Court has ordered the state Redistricting Board to redraw its proposed map of legislative boundaries. A day after hearing oral arguments in the case, the Supreme Court issued its order late Wednesday.
See entire redistricting order
The Justices point to an earlier case, Hickel v. Southeast Conference, in which the Court ruled that while the federal Voting Rights Act takes precedence over the Alaska Constitution, it should not be given so much weight that the constitution is “unnecessarily compromised.”
The order directs the board to make sure the plan first meets the requirements of the constitution, and only deviates when absolutely necessary to conform to the Voting Rights Act.
The Supreme Court also commends the Redistricting Board and Fairbanks Superior Court Judge Michael McConahy for their hard work on the issue.
McConahy ordered the board to redraw four proposed House districts, after the plan was challenged by a pair of Fairbanks residents. Three of the districts he ordered redrawn include parts of the Fairbanks North Star Borough. The other is in western Alaska, and includes Bethel as well as the western Aleutian Islands.