Wednesday, February 01, 2012

April 3rd unified primary hits the circular file


The D.C. District Court three judge panel entered a order in the preclearance case telling parties that they should not expect a ruling for at least 30 days:

The Court directs the parties to comply fully with the page limits and briefing schedule set in this matter so that it can be timely resolved and also notifies the parties that this Court does not anticipate issuing any order within the next 30 days.

A number of participants in the case had been expecting the court to rule by February 15 and some had felt that a ruling might even be possible next week.

This afternoon, in light of today's D.C. Court advisory telling the state and plaintiffs in the preclearance case that they should not expect a ruling for at least 30 days, the Texas Democratic Party (TDP) filed an advisory with the San Antonio District Court, that has jurisdiction over interim district maps and the primary election schedule, saying it no long believed a unified primary was still possible on any date in April, absent a near term settlement between the state and plaintiffs in the interim redistricting case before the San Antonio District Court.

And that settlement is on ice, as we learned this past Monday.

So the Republicans will likely hold their presidential hag beauty contest on the April 3rd date; the rest of the Republicans and Democrats will wait until April, perhaps, for court decisions, with primaries not until the end of May or June. There might still be some short filing deadlines if the San Antonio court releases maps by February 6, but with the DC court's pronouncement they are not likely to feel any deadline heat to do so.

Meh. At least the pressure's off.

Update: Michael Li, as always.

(Thursday) morning, the San Antonio court entered an scheduling order, directing briefing by February 10 at 6 p.m. on a number of issues related to interim maps and setting a hearing/status conference for February 15 at 8 a.m. (so much for Valentine’s Day for lovelorn lawyers).

The court’s order is here.

The issues the court asked to be addressed include:
  • how the county line rule should be applied in interim maps,
  • the applicable law on coalition and crossover districts and how it should be applied for purposes of interim maps,
  • whether the court has the authority to waive preclearance requirements for new precinct boundaries
The court also asked that the parties submit propped findings of fact and conclusions of law by February 10.  The court’s order said that it was not announcing an election schedule at this time.

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