GOP asks US judges to draw Mississippi congressional map

JACKSON, Mississippi — The Mississippi Republican Party is asking federal judges to redraw the state’s four U.S. House districts before the 2012 elections.

In court papers filed this month, the party said there’s “no likelihood” that legislators will handle congressional redistricting on time.

The next regular legislative session begins Jan. 3. That’s 10 days before the congressional candidates’ qualifying deadline for the March 13 primaries.

The U.S. Justice Department must approve Mississippi’s new congressional maps to ensure they don’t dilute black voting strength, and the review process generally takes at least 60 days.