W.Va. justice explains dissent on redistricting

CHARLESTON (AP) — A West Virginia Supreme Court justice is explaining why he dissented when the court upheld legislative redistricting.

A 4-1 ruling in November rejected multiple challenges to the redrawing of state Senate and House of Delegates districts. The majority later explained that ruling in a February opinion.

Justice Brent Benjamin issued his dissent Friday. It says he did not disagree with the majority regarding the new Senate districts. But his dissent slams the new House districts as constitutionally unacceptable.

The new map increases the number of single-member districts. But it also includes districts with between two and five members. Benjamin called that result a strange mix that dilutes the voting power of citizens.

The 2010 Census prompted the redistricting. Still pending is a federal lawsuit challenging the redrawn congressional districts.

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