Battle lines over district lines sparks redistricting lawsuit

16 days into the 60 day session one issue has been at the forefront, despite hundreds of bills filed.

“But there’s some lingering hard feelings. We just need to move on the best we can,” said Rep. Jeff Hoover, the Republican floor leader in the House who filed a lawsuit Thursday in Franklin Circuit Court.

That lawsuit was filed over the redistricting plan that House Republicans say is unconstitutional. One argument in the lawsuit is too many counties are split too many ways. “One of the requirements is that you split as few counties as possible. The plan was passed, and signed, and splits more counties than necessary,” said Hoover, R-Jamestown.

Mercer County was split in half. Rep. Kim King is one of five plaintiffs in the lawsuit. She says her constituents don’t like the new plan, and she says they’ve frequently asked what they could do to change it.

“What can we do? What do we do now? Is this already carved in stone? Do we have any recourse at all?” she says of the questions the Harrodsburg Republican is asked.

The lawsuit requests an injunction to delay the filing deadline for public office seekers, which is next Tuesday. House Speaker Greg Stumbo questions if the judge will rule their plan unconstitutional.

“Anybody can claim that something is unconstitutional, but the courts have generally adhered to the doctrine that they will wait until that is tried upon its merits,” said Stumbo,D-Prestonsburg.

Three lawmakers, Eubank’s mayor , and citizen from Vanceburg are named as plaintiffs in the suit.

“The citizen from Lewis County highlights the point that Lewis County was divided in three ways,” said Jason Nemes, the plaintiff’s attorney.

The lawsuit is expected to have its first hearing Monday morning in Franklin Circuit Court.

Former Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo is also criticizing the redistricting plan.

Mongiardo says, "An exercise in hyper-partisanship that disenfranchises hundreds of thousands of citizens and should be overturned. It is this type of unnecessarily divisive partisan politics that further weakens our political system's ability to solve the difficult problems confronting our state and nation."

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