ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota court panel has slashed the legal bills for those who sued over this year’s political redistricting.
Democrats, Republicans and citizens who joined the lawsuit had sought $718,000 in attorney fees and costs.
But the panel that redrew Minnesota’s political boundaries capped the award for each group at $115,000, for a total of $345,000. That’s less than the $368,000 the state’s redistricting panel paid out in 2002.
Political parties submitted attorney fees as high as $650 an hour.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie had opposed attorney fee awards in the case. But the panel rejected that argument, finding that the groups that brought the lawsuit were prevailing parties.
The Minnesota Supreme Court took over redistricting after Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed maps approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2011.