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Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Redistricting

The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments this morning on a challenge to a plan to redraw the districts for the State’s House of Representatives.

The five petitioners representing towns across the Granite State argue that the House plan is too rigid in its interpretation of the US constitution’s one-man-one-vote clause. A lawyer for the petitioners, Martin Honigberg, says that a looser interpretation is not only legal, but required by an amendment to the New Hampshire constitution.

Honigberg: in 2006 the people of New Hampshire spoke very clearly, they wanted as many districts as they could possibly have with as many people represented by someone who comes from their own community.

An attorney for the defense, Dave Vicinanzo, says lawmakers did the best job possible, with the dueling constraints of the State and Federal consitutions.

Vicinanzo: So the question is did the legislature strike the right balance here, and I’m confident the legislature’s plan will be upheld.

Vicinanzo says with elections coming up this fall, he expects a quick ruling from the court.

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

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