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Lawsuit Challenges House and Senate Districts

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Updated: 1/26/2012 6:27 pm
 
House Republicans are making a last ditch effort to halt Kentucky’s controversial redistricting of the boundaries for the 138 spots in the General Assembly.  A trio of GOP lawmakers, along with two citizens, filed a lawsuit in Franklin Circuit Court Thursday asking a judge to grant a temporary injunction, delaying next Tuesday’s filing deadline.
 
"Not only did it disenfranchise a lot of folks in Kentucky, but it was unconstitutional,” said Rep. Jeff Hoover, R-House Minority leader.  Hoover filed the suit along with representatives Kim King, R-Harrodsburg and Joe Fischer, R-Ft. Thomas.  The other plaintiffs are Anthony Gaydos of Vanceburg and Frey Todd, Eubank Mayor.
 
The lawsuit calls some of the district boundaries “a sham.”  A district running from northern Madison County all the way to Casey County includes a narrow strip of Pulaski County, including Eubank.   Lewis County, where Gaydos resides, is split into three districts.   Statewide, the new boundaries for the 100 House districts split 28 counties and 246 precincts.
 
The lawsuit does not challenge the new map for the state’s 38 Senate districts.  The Republican controlled upper chamber pushed through a map which pushes Lexington Senator Kathy Stein, a Democrat, out of office at the end of the year.
 
Hoover said he has not asked any Democrats to join the legal action.  The redistricting bill, signed by Governor Steve Beshear last week, includes boundaries for both the House and Senate.
 
"If one part of the bill is declared unconstitutional then the whole bill is unconstitutional,” said Jason Nemes, attorney for the plaintiffs.  “So, if that non-severability clause is adhered to it will affect the entire bill."
 

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