On October 31, the U.S. Supreme Court summarily affirmed the decision of a 3-judge U.S. District Court in the southern district of Mississippi. The 3-judge court had ruled on May 16, 2011, that the 2011 legislative elections may be held using the districts drawn after the 2000 census. The NAACP had argued that because the state now has its 2010 census data, the Constitution requires that the state must redistrict using the 2010 census data in time for the 2011 election. The lower court case is Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP v Barbour, 3:11-cv-00159. In the U.S. Supreme Court, the case was 11-82.
The 3-judge court in Mississippi has retained jurisdiction of this case. The decision makes it clear that the new districts must be drawn in 2012. It is still an open question whether, after the new districts are drawn in 2012, all the state legislators will need to run again in special elections in 2012. Mississippi elects all its state legislators for four-year terms in the odd years preceding presidential election years (including 2011, of course). If no special elections for state legislators are held in 2012, that will mean the old districts, based on the 2000 census, will have been in effect until the 2015 election.