Judge Denies Request To Temporarily Bar New Redistricting Plan

A federal judge has denied the request of several Alaska Natives to temporarily bar the state from implementing a new redistricting plan.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason comes one day after she heard arguments in the case.

Plaintiffs have alleged the state is violating the federal voting rights act by moving ahead with election preparations under a new redistricting plan before the plan is approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.  Plaintiffs sought a temporary restraining order until a three-judge panel hears the case.  Native American Rights Fund attorney Natalie Landreth represents the complainants.

Landreth says Friday’s decision only denies the temporary restraining order, and in no way implies the courts have approved the state’s current redistricting plan.

Landreth says the argument regarding whether or not the division should be enjoined from implementing the redistricting plan is still headed for the three judge panel later this month.

The state’s redistricting plan was submitted to the federal department of Justice in late May.  Approval is expected in about a month.

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