Nashville attorney George Barrett wants the Metro Council to redraw its district lines ahead of the August election to avoid any legal challenges based on how districts are apportioned.
Barrett sent letters to each Metro council member, Mayor Karl Dean, members of the Metro Planning Commission and Director of Law Sue Cain, asking them to use 2010 census data expected to be released next month to redraw council district lines and to avoid potential legal “apportionment challenges,” according to a release from the Barrett Johnston LLC law firm.
“The citizens of Nashville should not be submitted to four years of governance by an improperly constituted city council,” Barrett wrote in the letter. “I stand ready to seek the assistance of the federal court should such reapportionment not take place prior to the August 2011 city council elections.”
The release states that Metro should have 2010 census data next month, leaving the council and the planning commission more than two months to redraw the district lines before a May 19 qualifying deadline for candidates.
The release points to the U.S. Supreme Court case Baker v. Carr that came out of Nashville and set the “one person, one vote” precedent in regard to political representation.
The case, which was decided in 1962, claimed voters’ rights were denied when seats in the Tennessee General Assembly weren’t properly reapportioned based on population redistribution as shown by federal census data.