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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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State expects reapportionment lawsuit to end in U.S. Supreme Court

November 29th, 2012 · 2 Comments

The State Attorney General expects that any ruling in a lawsuit challenging the state’s 2012 reapportionment plan will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and has received approval from the state procurement office to hire a law firm with experience in relevant constitutional law.

The lawsuit, Kostick v Nago, is pending in U.S. District Court.

The AG’s office failed to anticipate and prepare for a case of this kind in advance, according to a request for exemption from normal procurement procedures.

Possibly because reapportionment occurs only once every 10 years immediately after the Federal census, and the last reapportionment plan was not challenged, we did not receive statements of qualifications and Expressions of Interest in the areas of appellate practice or constitutional law from U.S. Supreme Court practitioners and other attorneys in Washington, D.C. with expertise in reapportionment. The case is presently pending before the 3-judge district court panel with a briefing schedule calling for pleadings to be filed at the end of October and in the first two weeks of November. It is necessary for the State to procure the services of a well respected U.S. Supreme Court practitioner as soon as possible. This cannot be accomplished under existing procurement procedures without an exemption.

By law, reapportionment challenges are heard by a 3-judge panel at the federal district court level and can only be appealed directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. We believe there is a high certainty that any decision of the 3-judge panel will be appealed by the non-prevailing party. It is therefore in the State’s best interest to obtain input and participation from counsel with expertise in this specialized area of laws to assure that the best record is developed and all pertinent arguments are presented to the 3-judge panel.

Jenner & Block, a national law firm with some 450 attorneys working in offices across the country, has been selected, with fees capped at $50,000 through the end of the year.

I took a quick look at the court docket, and it appears there are cross motions for summary judgement pending. They are scheduled to be considered at a hearing before a three-judge panel on January 14, 2013.

I wanted to post copies of the motions, but once again, the state has filed its motion in a way that ballooned it into a 9 MB file, while the plaintiffs also have a lengthy motion that they reduced to less than 1 MB.

So I’m attaching the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgement and memo in support of the motion. Maybe someone will come up with a slimmed down version of the state’s document.

In addition, here’s the 114-page transcript of the court hearing held on May 18, 2012.

I hope those links work…please let me know if they don’t.

Tags: Court · Politics

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