A state senator's challenge to the constitutionality of the state Senate's redistricting plan appears over.
The state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that an Oklahoma County District Court judge was correct in throwing out the lawsuit filed by Sen. Jim Wilson.
“The district court properly dismissed Senator Wilson's petition because he has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,” wrote Chief Justice Steven Taylor in the 9-0 decision.
Wilson filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma County District Court and District Judge Lisa Davis ruled in October that the issues raised in Wilson's case had already been decided by the state Supreme Court in another lawsuit he filed earlier last year.
Wilson, D-Tahlequah, said the districts drawn up by the Republican-controlled Senate violated state constitutional requirements. He appealed the district court ruling back to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court ruled in September that the Senate redistricting plan complies with population requirements outlined in the state constitution. However, four justices wrote in a concurrent opinion that claims of gerrymandering could be taken up in district court.
Legislators every 10 years — after census figures are released — redraw the House and Senate district boundaries.
Wilson, who is term-limited and cannot seek re-election, said the redistricting plan focused on making it safe for Republicans to maintain control of the Senate. Republicans gained control of the Senate in 2008 for the first time in state history. The GOP gained control of the House of Representatives after the 2004 elections; last year was the first time legislative redistricting occurred when Republicans controlled both the House and Senate.
Wilson said the latest Supreme Court ruling likely ends his battle.
“I assume we're done,” he said. “I don't know where we go from here, if anywhere. ... I think this is the end of the line.”
Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, co-chairman of the Senate's redistricting committee, said he agrees with the decision and that it's time for the legal challenge of the Senate's plan to redraw its 48 districts to come to an end.
“Even if everything Sen. Wilson says is true, he still doesn't have a lawsuit that has any grounds,” Jolley said. “He's argued the same thing three times.
“I hope that this will be the end of the litigation and that he will finally move onto something else,” he said.