Redistricting hearing ongoing; some highlights

The hearing began this morning with Judge Grady Jolly telling the parties that the panel wanted to hear everyone’s positions on 1) the Secretary of State’s Motion to Dismiss on ripeness grounds, 2) the feasibility of implementing new plans at this date, and 3) objections to implementing the Joint Committee plans, as the court is inclined to do.

The Governor went first, with his attorney Steve Thomas calling John Diaz (or John Diez, I still don’t know which) to the stand to explain the plan the MSGOP submitted on May 5th. Diaz testified that he was asked by Tim Saler, executive director of the MSGOP, to draw a plan that adhered to plus or minus 1% deviation in all districts, and that preserved the core of existing districts. Diaz said he submitted his maps to Saler after about 2.5 days. Diaz then compared his maps to the Joint Committee plan maps. In doing so, he said e wasn’t as familiar with the Senate plan as he was with the House plan. (Interesting, because it shows where the MSGOP’s priorities are.)