East Hawaii News

Supreme Court Upholds New Big Island Senate Seat

January 21, 2014, 11:54 AM HST
* Updated January 21, 3:58 PM
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The Big Island will keep its fourth state Senate seat, the US Supreme Court ruled today.

The justices let stand, without comment, a July 11, 2013 ruling by a panel of three federal judges in Hawaii that the state’s reapportionment plan did not violate the Constitution’s right to equal protection.

The ruling was in response to a May 22 decision in which the US District Court declined to issue an injunction against the new boundaries.

The 2012 plan, which sent a seat formerly allocated to Oahu to the Big Island based on population changes, was challenged in the case Kostick v. Nago, 13-456.

The attorney for the plaintiffs, Robert H. Thomas, had argued that the plan illegally excluded 108,767 members of the military, their families and students from out of state when determining the political boundaries.

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