Monroe Redistricting Lawsuit Settlement Appears Imminent – Hearing Tuesday Otherwise

A hearing is set for 9:00 AM Tuesday, January 3 in U. S. District Court in Monroe on the federal lawsuit Clark v Marx, in the event the parties do not settle prior to that date, according to an order initialed last week by Chief Judge Robbie James.

…the Court GRANTED Plaintiffs’ Motion for Expedited Hearing Schedule and Hearing to Issue Preliminary Injunctions [Doc. No. 2] and set hearing on the matter for January 3, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. If they cannot reach agreement on all or some of the issues, the hearing will proceed on January 3, 2012, and the Court will issue a ruling as quickly as possible.

See here the document.

It appears from the document that there exists a good possibility that a settlement may be reached prior to next Tuesday.

However, when the Court inquired whether it was possible for the elections of the City Council to be held with the mayoral election if the Court issues an appropriate order, Ms. (Marietta) Norton (counsel for LA Secretary of State) stated that the Secretary of State does have some flexibility if the preclearance is obtained by December 30, 2011, as anticipated. She explained that the Secretary of State does need qualification for candidates to take place no later than mid-January, 2012. In response to an inquiry from Mr. (William) Crawford (counsel for LA SOS), Mr. (Robert) Berman (U. S. Department of Justice, Voting Rights Section) stated that the DOJ is working toward a decision by December 30, 2011, but would notify the parties as quickly as a decision is reached. If DOJ completes the preclearance process by December 30, the Court does not anticipate any further need for its participation in this lawsuit.

Sources have told Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has since pre-cleared a proposed redistricting plan.

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