BOISE - The Idaho Supreme Court has issued an unexpected order this afternoon on redistricting, tossing out both the GOP redistricting commissioners’ lawsuit and Secretary of State Ben Ysursa’s legal challenge after Idaho redistricting commissioners failed to reach agreement on new legislative and congressional districts by this week’s deadline.
The court declared that it has no authority to order the redistricting commission back to work - because the commission hadn’t adopted any redistricting plan the court could rule on, giving it jurisdiction. Instead, there’s only the 2002 plan from the last round a decade ago.
Ysursa, in his legal challenge, asked the court to declare that plan unconstitutional, because it doesn’t meet the U.S. Constitution’s one-person, one-vote requirements due to the population shifts of the last decade.
Ysursa also asked the justices to send the commission back to work for up to 60 days, while the GOP commissioners asked the court to adopt one of their favored plans or send commissioners back to work for up to three days.
The court, in its order, says the Secretary of State can organize a new commission instead. It also sets oral arguments for Oct. 12 on the constitutionality of the 2002 redistricting plan, and permits anyone who wants to file to defend that plan as constitutional a chance to do so within the next 14 days.
Ysursa is out of town; his office said it’ll have no comment on the order until Monday.