UPDATE: Panel says Legislature can run in current districts

By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – A three-judge federal panel has ordered legislative elections to be held this year under the current House and Senate districts.

In the order, released early Monday afternoon, the panel said it would retain jurisdiction of the case and hear arguments next year if anyone contends legislators should run again in 2012 under new districts that would presumably be drawn next session.

The issue ended up in federal court when the Legislature during the 2011 session could not draw new district lines to adhere to population shifts determined by the 2010 census.

The lawsuit was filed because the state chapter of the NAACP and others argued the old district lines were malapportioned.

The 122 Mississippi House districts and 52 Senate districts are updated after every census to reflect population changes and to uphold the constitutional principle of one-person, one-vote.

Read more in Tuesday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.