Friday, March 18, 2011

How the Constitution Says Redistricting Should Work

Here's how the Mississippi Constitution spells out the redistricting process:

ARTICLE 13. APPORTIONMENT; SECTION 254. Senatorial and representative districts.

“The legislature shall at its regular session in the second year following the 1980 decennial census and every ten (10) years thereafter, and may, at any other time, by joint resolution, by majority vote of all members of each house, apportion the state in accordance with the constitution of the state and of the United States into consecutively numbered senatorial and representative districts of contiguous territory. The senate shall consist of not more than fifty-two (52) senators, and the house of representatives shall consist of not more than one hundred twenty-two (122) representatives, the number of members of each house to be determined by the legislature. Should the legislature adjourn, without apportioning itself as required hereby, the governor by proclamation shall reconvene the legislature within thirty (30) days in special apportionment session which shall not exceed thirty (30) consecutive days, during which no other business shall be transacted, and it shall be the mandatory duty of the legislature to adopt a joint resolution of apportionment. Should a special apportionment session not adopt a joint resolution of apportionment as required hereby, a five-member commission consisting of the chief justice of the supreme court as chairman, the attorney general, the secretary of state, the speaker of the house of representatives and the president pro tempore of the senate shall immediately convene and within one hundred eighty (180) days of the adjournment of such special apportionment session apportion the legislature, which apportionment shall be final upon filing with the office of the secretary of state. Each apportionment shall be effective for the next regularly scheduled elections of members of the legislature.”

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