By Nevada News Bureau Staff: The Nevada Supreme Court today issued an order instructing Secretary of State Ross Miller to supplement the petition filed by his office earlier this week asking the court to intervene in the redistricting issue now in Carson City District Court.
The court today issued an order telling Miller to address: (1) whether the Legislature discharged its mandatory duty under Article 4, Section 5 of the Nevada constitution; 1 (2) if not, can or should the Nevada state courts engage in the act of redistricting as contrasted with reviewing a legislatively established plan; and (3) if the matter is one over which the judiciary can or should exercise authority, in addition to any other issues the Secretary wishes to address…”
“It is the intention of the Secretary of State’s office to fully comply with the order of the Nevada Supreme Court,” Miller said in response to the order. “As has already been established, the Secretary of State’s office will have no further comment on the matter until it is heard by the courts.”
On Monday, Miller filed the petition asking the court to intervene, arguing that Carson District Judge James Todd Russell failed to address key issues before asking a panel of three special masters to draw new political lines for four congressional seats and the 63 seats of the Nevada Legislature.
A key issue is whether the special masters should attempt to create a new congressional seat in Las Vegas that is composed of a large percentage of Hispanic residents.
The special masters are scheduled to take public testimony on Monday and Tuesday before drawing new lines based on the 2010 census and submitting the maps to Russell for his review by Oct. 21.
The redistricting issue ended up in the courts after Republicans and Democrats in the 2011 legislative session failed to reach agreement on the new political lines for the 2012 elections.