LULAC allowed in NM redistricting case
The New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, planned to offer a proposal for a Hispanic majority congressional district in southern and west-central New Mexico, but District Court Judge James Hall said the group must meet tight deadlines for a trial starting Monday.
Lawyers for Gov. Susana Martinez and other state GOP elected officials – Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and Secretary of State Dianna Duran – told the judge that LULAC shouldn’t be allowed to offer a redistricting plan because the group missed by 10 days a court-established deadline for seeking to become a party in the case. They said LULAC also failed to follow the proper procedures for giving other lawyers notice of their request to join in the case.
LULAC can’t present its redistricting plan at the trial unless it provides the required materials and makes its witnesses, such as a demographic expert, available for a pre-trial deposition this week by other lawyers.
A LULAC lawyer, Santiago Juarez, said the group will try to meet a Thursday deadline for providing the list of witnesses and trial documents to the court and other lawyers in the case. He said the group might withdraw from the case, however, if it couldn’t quickly produce the materials.
“Because this is so late, I am going to be quite firm on this deadline,” Hall told Juarez at a hearing after making his ruling.
Juarez had asked that the trial be postponed for a week – a proposal strongly opposed by lawyers for groups of Democrats and Republicans in the case.
The LULAC redistricting plan was advocated by Democratic Rep. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces during a special legislative session in September.
Read the full story at Las Cruces Sun News