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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - Mayor Ballard seeks early appeal of redistricting ruling won by Democrats

Updating earlier entries on this case (Lewis v. Sullivan), the most recent from July 21, Jon Murray reports today:

Attorneys representing Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s office asked a Marion County court Monday to allow an early appeal of a split decision throwing out Republican-drawn City-County Council district maps.

The move could result in Indiana Supreme Court intervention before the ­local judges proceed to draw a new set of boundaries for the 25 council districts.

Ballard’s request was ex­pected after he lost the first round in court. A Marion Superior Court judicial panel on July 17 ruled 3-2 — along party lines — in favor of council Democratic leaders. The plaintiffs include council President Maggie Lewis.

Because the judges haven’t finished handling the case, Ballard is seeking their permission to appeal the ruling now.

If the panel denies the request, the mayor may have to wait until after the judges have drawn new maps and have finalized last month’s ruling. It’s unclear how soon the judges will rule on Ballard’s request. * * *

The high court ended the last council redistricting dispute in 2003 by drawing new boundaries.

Attorney Bill Groth said the council’s Democratic leaders would oppose Ballard’s motions.

He wrote in an email that the Republican mayor’s request appeared to be an attempt to avoid giving the Indiana Supreme Court “a choice between two maps, one a blatant political gerrymander drawn by a political party (the GOP) to maximize its political advantages, and the other a neutral map drawn by judges using neutral, non-political factors.”

The case will determine district assignments for voters across Marion County for the 2015 and 2019 council elections.

On Monday, the city’s legal office filed motions to certify the Marion County ruling for a quick appeal and to stay the proceedings.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 6, 2013 08:51 AM
Posted to Indiana Government