ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A special court panel is deciding how much wiggle room it should allow in crafting new legislative and congressional districts.

Five judges heard arguments Wednesday about what principles should matter most as they remake political maps in a process called redistricting.

Considerations include whether it matters more to follow city, county and town lines or to keep “communities of interest” together. The panel must also figure out how much — if any — population deviation is acceptable.

Lawyers for the state Democratic and Republican parties presented differing principles.

The court panel is preparing to issue new maps because a divided state government hasn’t arrived at a negotiated deal. Redistricting is done once a decade after the census.

The process can affect which party has the upper hand in future elections.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  1. I'm Just Sayin' says:

    Neither side has any principles nor scrupples, so how can they argue anything. Once side that obviously has power and will do the same thing the other side did last time they redistricted, tilt it in their favor. And the side out of power that filed a suit bsed on mistrust without the other side even starting to draw lines on a map. They are a bunch of cowards that will not make a move without a safety net (blame it on the courts)…. Fire every single one of them come November 2012.

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