Marshall County Commission Looks Into Lawsuit About Redrawn District Lines

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Late last week, the Marshall County Commission asked the county attorney to look into the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the state legislature.  The reason is that under a redistricting plan, Marshall County has been split into five different House districts.

This has brought fear that one of the largest counties in the state could lose its voice in Montgomery.

Currently, Marshall County is divided into just two House districts.  However, a plan approved last week changes that to five.

Some in the county say it’s a horrible mistake, to the point the county is now threatening to sue.

“I think there is a balance there between packing and splintering,” said Dr. Jess Brown, a political science professor at Athens State University.  “And I don’t know how much Marshall County is being splintered.”

Brown says whether five districts will hurt Marshall County could be in the eye of the beholder.  He gives an example where a county only has one senator.

“Some people would say ‘I love that,’ because our senator is only obligated to our county and nobody else,” said Dr. Brown.  “But that also means that 35 of 34 senators have no interest in you.  You just got one voice.”

He says Marshall County’s voices will increase under the new plan, but the fact it’s been carved up in tiny pieces could be a problem.

“Now if they keep slicing you up and dividing you up, until your county’s share of a legislator’s district is below 20 percent, you might be marginalized at that point,” said Brown.

The bottom line is that a lot of people in Marshall County are upset and their anger could be settled in the courtroom or at the ballot box in two years.

One of the main concerns local leaders have is Marshall County’s share of the money TVA gives to counties instead of tax dollars could be decreased with Morgan and Blount counties getting more.

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