U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason heard oral arguments today in a case against the state division of elections. Judge Gleason is weighing whether or not to bar election officials from preparing for the November elections under a new Alaska redistricting plan.
Plaintiffs say the state is violating federal law by moving ahead with election procedures before the federal Justice Department has approved the latest version of the redistricting plan.
Native American Rights Fund attorney Natalie Landreth represents the complainants. She says section five of the federal Voting Rights Act allows the complainants to requested a three-judge panel to hear their case.
State attorneys argued that the plaintiffs have not justified their request. Assistant attorney general Margaret Patton – Walsh says both sides in the case made strong arguments. Patton – Walsh says today’s (Thursday’s) arguments centered on only one phase of the complaint, whether or not the court should issue a temporary restraining order against the state division of elections.
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