FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the General Assembly's redrawing of state legislative districts at 10 a.m. on Feb. 24.
In a two-page order Friday, the high court said each side will be given 15 minutes to argue its case. It also said any other relief sought by legislative leaders has been denied at this time because the court has expedited a hearing.
Parties involved in the case had to file their records with the Supreme Court by noon Friday. Briefs for the Feb. 24 hearing must be filed by noon Feb. 22.
At issue is a Feb. 7 ruling by Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd that declared Kentucky's newly-drawn legislative districts unconstitutional. Shepherd also ordered election officials to use previous district lines in this year's state legislative elections.
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Shepherd tossed out boundaries that lawmakers approved and Gov. Steve Beshear signed into law last month.
Shepherd's ruling was a victory for House Republicans and Democratic state Sen. Kathy Stein of Lexington, who challenged the constitutionality of Hosue Bill 1.
Shepherd said HB 1 was unconstitutional because it allows some districts to vary by more than 5 percent from the ideal population size and divides more counties into separate legislative districts than necessary.
Legislative leaders appealed Shepherd's ruling to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, which sent it on to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
All Supreme Court justices agreed with Friday's order except Will T. Scott, who recused himself from the case earlier this week because he is seeking re-election from a district that was redrawn in HB 1.