Charleston, WV – Senate President Jeff Kessler (D – Marshall) announced today that the four defendants named in the congressional redistricting lawsuit will ask for an immediate stay on the ruling to seek an appeal from the United States Supreme Court.
“Redistricting is properly a legislative function,” says Kessler. “We believe the action taken by the West Virginia Legislature was constitutional and well considered.”
A three-judge panel ruled this week in a 2-1 decision that West Virginia’s congressional redistricting plan violates the U.S. Constitution and instructed the legislature to submit a new plan by January 17th or the court would implement its own plan.
"As I have consistently maintained, redistricting is by its very nature a legislative function,” says Governor Tomblin. “By seeking this stay, the Legislature will have an opportunity to seek meaningful review of the split decision of the three judge panel striking down the Legislature's congressional redistricting plan."
“The Senate President and I are confident that the congressional redistricting plan, which was adopted overwhelmingly by the Legislature, with bi-partisan support, meets all constitutional requirements,” says House Speaker Thompson. “All parties involved have consulted and are in agreement that we are compelled to ask for a stay of the judges’ deadline and ultimately ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the panel’s ruling.”
“Although the Secretary of State’s role in this case is a neutral one, the intended appeal which will not be decided for several months, may raise questions about the election process and what rules apply. Therefore, to clarify those matters, the Secretary of State has joined the other defendants in requesting an emergency stay of the Court’s ruling,” said Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.