The most distinct difference is that 20 years ago - in August - when ordering elections to advance in the then-current malapportioned districts, the three-judge panel made it clear that a second round of elections would be scheduled for the following year in newly drawn districts.
In Monday's ruling, the three-judge panel left for another day - presumably next year - a decision on whether a second round of elections would be held in 2012.
In fact, the panel said there would not be another round of elections unless a legal challenge was filed on the grounds that the existing plan was unconstitutional because of the inequity of the populations from district to district.
And if someone were to move for another round of elections next year, the judges said they would hear that request but did not indicate how they would rule.
Legislative redistricting ended up in court this year because the House and Senate could not agree on a plan to redraw districts to match population shifts found by the 2010 census.
In 1991, the issue ended up in court when the plan approved by the Legislature was rejected by the Justice Department on the grounds it diluted black voter strength.
After Monday's ruling, "it is not preordained that we will have a second election" in 2012, said Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who successfully argued before the federal panel that elections be held this year under the existing districts.
In 1991, the judicial panel made it clear early on that candidates elected under the existing legislative districts would serve only one year and that elections would be held under a new plan in 1992.
In an August 1991 opinion, the judges wrote that the existing districts "are doubtless unconstitutionally malapportioned for a full four-year term of office," but "may be constitutionally utilized for interim relief."
This time around, the judges said that unless someone objects, the candidates elected under the current districts, though admittedly malapportioned, will serve the full four-year term.
In 1992, the court set a special date for legislative primaries in August. The general election for legislative candidates coincided with the November presidential election.
More than likely, a special legislative primary also would have to take place in 2012 if there is a second round of elections. And estimates show that special legislative elections next year could cost the state as much as $400,000 with additional expenses to each county.
Hosemann refused to say whether he would favor a second round of elections or allowing legislators to serve a full four-year term in the malapportioned districts.
But with a struggling economy and concerns about government spending, the spending of additional money on a special election will be more of an issue than it was in 1991.
Jackson attorney Rob McDuff, who represents the House Apportionment and Elections Committee in the redistricting case, told the judges they "should try to avoid the expense of a special election next year."