OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma County District Judge Niles Jackson on Friday refused a motion to stay a Republican lawsuit asking the court to decide new congressional district lines if the Legislature does not act.
The lawsuit was filed by state Republican Chairman Chad Alexander and six other Republicans who contend lawmakers are likely to remain deadlocked on congressional redistricting.
Fred Leibrock, attorney for the GOP plaintiffs, said the chances are ``almost nil'' that the Legislature can pass a plan that Gov. Frank Keating will sign.
Attorneys for leaders of the Democratic majority in the Legislature asked for more time to enact a redistricting bill before proceeding with the case, but Jackson rejected their arguments.
The judge said the court needs to proceed in the event lawmakers and the governor have not approved a plan by the time the Legislature adjourns on May 24.
A court hearing was set for May 13, but Jackson said he would not issue a ruling until after the Legislature adjourned.
Oklahoma must draw five congressional districts out of the present six districts. The state is losing one member of Congress because its population did not grow as fast as other states.