State files with high court in redistricting suit

Last week attorneys for the State of West Virginia filed a jurisdictional brief in the case of Tennant, et. al. v. Jefferson County, the case in which the 2011 redistricting plan was declared unconstitutional by a federal three-judge panel.

Though the state had previously sought and obtained a stay of the panel’s decision from Chief Justice John Roberts, this is the first clear confirmation that the state intends to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jefferson County, represented by attorneys Stephen Skinner and Dave Hammer, now has thirty days to file their briefs in the case, though they also have the ability to seek an extension of that deadline.

Once the court has considered both sides’ briefs, they will decide whether or not to take jurisdiction of the case, probably some time in the fall. If they do not, Roberts’ stay will expire and the state will be forced to produce another redistricting plan. If they do, then the case will be heard by the Supreme Court.

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