Judge Rejects Redistricting Proposal

New Mexico – A state district court judge has turned down a request by Gov. Susana Martinez and other Republicans to use a special master for redistricting Congress and other New Mexico elected offices.

District Judge James Hall issued his ruling Tuesday, saying a court-appointed special master could increase the time and expense of resolving the once-a-decade task of redistricting.

Hall is sticking with his schedule for handling lawsuits brought by groups of Republicans, Democrats and Indian tribes. He has set a trial on congressional redistricting to start Dec. 5. Trials on the state House, state Senate and Public Regulation Commission would be held later in December and in January.

Republicans had contended a special master, such as a demographer, could prepare politically neutral maps for Hall to consider in ordering new districts.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.