CASE SUMMARY

On May 24, 2021, the majority and minority leaders of the Maine House and Senate petitioned the Maine Supreme Court seeking an extension of their state's constitutional redistricting deadlines for the apportionment of legislative, congressional, and county commissioner districts. The petition alleges that due to the delayed release of 2020 census data, the Apportionment commission will be unable to submit proposed plans to the Legislature by its June 1, 2021 deadline and the Legislature will be unable to enact either those or its own plans by its deadline of June 11, 2021. Petitioners are seeking a court order modifying the deadlines to be as follows: Apportionment Commission to submit proposed plans to the Legislature within 45 days of receipt of the legacy-format census data; Legislature to adopt plans within 10 days of the proposed plan's submission or the Commission's deadline being missed; and the Court to order an apportionment if the Legislature fails to act within 35 days of the relevant missed deadline.

Oral argument was held before the Maine Supreme Court on June 30, 2021.

On July 19, 2021, the Maine Supreme Court issued an order granting the petitioners' request to extend legislative and congressional deadlines, but denying the request as to county commissioner districts on the grounds the court lacked authority over them. The court ordered congressional and legislative deadlines are as follows:

  • Apportionment Commission to submit legislative and congressional plans to the state legislature within 45 days of the state's receipt of legacy format census data (est. 9/26/21)
  • State Legislature to adopt plans within 10 days of the earlier of the Commission's submission of plans or the expiration of the Commission's deadline to do so (est. 10/6/21)
  • Plans and briefs submitted to Supreme Court if Legislature fails to act within 14 days of their deadline (est. 10/20/21)
  • Maine Supreme Court to adopt plan(s) within 35 days after the Legislature's failure to adopt (est. 11/10/21)

CASE LIBRARY

Maine Supreme Judicial Court - No. SJC-21-4