A state court judge accepted Alaska’s latest redistricting plan Monday, saying the newly redrawn political boundaries meet constitutional standards. Superior Court Judge Michael McConahy also found the Alaska Redistricting Board’s decisions regarding truncation of certain Senate seats due to changes in the makeup of those districts pass constitutional muster. He said the record does not support any inference that the standard adopted by the board for what constitutes a substantial change in a district was chosen to protect Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, a concern that had been raised among the plaintiffs. Senators generally stand for re-election every four years, but terms for some members can be truncated if a new redistricting plan results in substantially different districts for them.
Nicole Corr, an attorney for the board, said the board believed from the beginning that this was a “good, sound plan” and said the board was pleased the court agreed.
Attorneys for the Fairbanks-area residents who sued over the original plan were not immediately available for comment.
A spokesman for the state Democratic Party, which also challenged the plan, said he was reading through the decision Monday afternoon. The decision can be appealed.