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A110152Order11.4.11

A110152Order11.4.11

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Published by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger on Nov 04, 2011
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STATEOFMINNESOTASPECIALREDISTRICTINGPANEL
NOV11
All-152
SaraHippert,DaveGreer,LindaMarkowitz,DeeDeeLarson,BenMaas,GreggPeppin,RandyPenrodandCharlesRoulet,individuallyandonbehalfofallcitizensandvotingresidentsofMinnesotasimilarlysituated,Plaintiffs,ORDERSTATINGREDISTRICTINGPRINCIPLESANDREQUIREMENTSFORPLANSUBMISSIONSandKennethMartin,LynnWilson,Timothy
o
'Brien,IrenePeralez,JosieJohnson,JaneKrentz,MarkAltenburg,andDebraHasskamp,individuallyandonbehalfofallcitizensofMinnesotasimilarlysituated,Plaintiffs-Intervenors,andAudreyBritton,DavidBly,CaryCoop,andJohnMcIntosh,individuallyandonbehalfofallcitizensofMinnesotasimilarlysituated,Plaintiffs-Intervenors,vs.MarkRitchie,SecretaryofStateofMinnesota;andRobertHiivala,WrightCountyAuditor,individuallyandonbehalfofallMinnesotacountychiefelectionofficers,Defendants.
 
ORDER
PRELIMINARY
CONCLUSIONSByitsorderofJuly18,2011,theSpecialRedistrictingPanel(thepanel)directedthepartiestothisactiontoworktowardastipulationonpreliminarymattersandtosubmitseparatestatementsofunresolvedissues.Basedonthosesubmissionsandsubsequentoralargument,thepanelconcludesasfollows:
1.Jurisdiction.
Thepanelhassubject-matterjurisdictionoverthisaction.
SeeGrowe
v.
Emison,
507U.S.25,32-37,113S.Ct.1075,1080-83(1993)(concludingthatMinnesotaSpecialRedistrictingPanelhadjurisdictionoverredistrictingactionandthatfederalcourtwasrequiredtodefertoitsproceedings);
Scott
v.
Germano,
381U.S.407,409,85S.Ct.1525,1527(1965)(percuriam)("ThepowerofthejudiciaryofaStatetorequirevalidreapportionmentortoformulateavalidredistrictingplanhasnotonlybeenrecognizedbythisCourtbutappropriateactionbytheStatesinsuchcaseshasbeenspecificallyencouraged.");
seealsoZachman
v.
Kiffmeyer,
No.CO-01-160(Minn.SpecialRedistrictingPanelOct.29,2001)(SchedulingOrderNo.2);
Cotlow
v.
Growe,
No.MX-91-001562(Minn.SpecialRedistrictingPanelJuly29,1991)(PretrialOrderNo.1).Inaddition,thepanelwasproperlyappointedpursuanttothepoweroftheChiefJusticetoassignjudgestohearparticularcases.
See
Minn.Stat.§§2.724,480.16(2010).
2.ConstitutionalityofCurrentDistricts.
Plaintiffs-intervenorsAudreyBrittonetal.movethepaneltodeclarethecurrentdistrictsunconstitutionalforuseinanyfutureelections.Allpartiesagreethatthecurrentelectiondistrictsare"unequally
2
 
apportioned"inlightofthe2010census,buttheydisagreeastowhetheradeclarationofunconstitutionalityiswarrantedatthistime.Thepanelhastheauthoritytohearanddecideallmattersinconnectionwiththedispositionofthisaction.
Hippert
v.
Ritchie,
No.Al1-152(Minn.June1,2011)(OrderofChiefJustice).However,wewillordertheadoptionofredistrictingplansformulatedthroughthislitigationonlyiftheLegislatureandtheGovernordonotreachanagreementonredistrictinglegislationbyFebruary21,2012.
See
Minn.Stat.
§
204B.l4,subd.1a(2010)(settingthedeadlineforredistricting);
seealsoHippert,
No.All-152(Minn.SpecialRedistrictingPanelSept.12,2011)(TimothyD.UtzAmicusCuriaeOrder)(explainingtheconstitutionalrolesofthelegislative,executive,andjudicialbranchesintheredistrictingprocess);
Zachman,
No.CO-O1-160(Minn.SpecialRedistrictingPanelOct.29,2001)(SchedulingOrderNo.2)(followingsection204B.14,subdivisionIa,insettingareleasedateforfinalredistrictingorder).TheargumentoftheBrittonplaintiffs-intervenorsassumesthattheLegislatureandtheGovernorwillnotreachanagreementonredistrictinglegislationbyFebruary21,2012,andthat,absentthepanel'sintervention,thecurrentdistrictswillbeusedtoconductthe2012regularelections.Thisscenario,however,ispurelyhypotheticalatthispointbecausetimeremainsfortheLegislatureandtheGovernortoreachanagreementonredistrictinglegislation.UntilFebruary21,2012,theissueoftheconstitutionalityofthecurrentdistrictsisnotripeforourdecision.
SeeCamreta
v.
Greene,
131S.Ct.2020,2031(2011)(statingthata'''longstandingprincipleofjudicialrestraintrequiresthatcourtsavoidreachingconstitutionalquestionsinadvanceofthenecessityofdeciding
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