FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Legal Suit: Martin Honigberg or Jay Surdukowski, Sulloway & Hollis, (603) 224-2341
Petitioners & Overview: Zandra Rice Hawkins, Granite State Progress (603) 892-2150
NH Secretary of State to Decide Whether to Postpone Candidate Filing While Unconstitutional House Redistricting Plan in New Hampshire Supreme Court
CONCORD, NH - The NH Supreme Court today chose not to order an injunction for the state representative candidate filing period - set for Monday, June 6th, the same day as oral arguments over the unconstitutional House redistricting plan - but left the door open for Secretary of State Bill Gardner to do so.
Yesterday, petitioners in the five cases challenging the unconstitutional House plan asked the Court to delay the filing period for House of Representative candidates. This afternoon the Court denied the request but noted that "nothing in this order precludes the secretary of state from exercising any discretion he may have to delay the filing period for such period as he deems proper."
The Court noted that if it rules in the petitioners' favor, the filing process may have to be done again.
"Speaker O'Brien and his extreme leadership team purposely waited until the last minute on redistricting in order to create this scenario," said Zandra Rice Hawkins, Director of Granite State Progress. "New Hampshire voters and candidates should not suffer because the House and Senate leadership decided to pass an unconstitutional plan. The Secretary of State's office could avoid the potential of costing candidates and taxpayers double the expense by simply delaying the state representative filing period until the legal issue is settled."
In other redistricting news:
Speaker Bill O'Brien suffered a major blow today when the NH Supreme Court upheld the standing of several petitioners in the House redistricting legal challenge.
Speaker O'Brien had attempted to question the standing of: community members, legislators, cities, cities and wards, and anything in between; including that any legal challenge be restricted solely to the districts of those represented in the case.
In a defeating blow to his attempt, the Court upheld the standing of the petitioners.
"Our goal is to get to the merits of this case as quickly as possible, and this ruling allows us to do just that," said Martin Honigberg of Sulloway and Hollis, and attorney for a citizen and legislator suit.
Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.