With a 2-1 vote, a federal judge panel overturned the lines the WV Legislature approved last August for the three U.S. House districts.

"We conclude that West Virginia's Congressional apportionment was not accomplished in conformance with the Constitution of the United States."

"The plaintiffs are therefore entitled to have the enactment declared null and void," said the decision.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, along with legislative leaders, will determine the next step now that the state's Congressional redistricting plan has been ruled unconstitutional.

"The emphasis was on preserving the status quo and making only tangential changes to the existing districts," the court said.

As part of the decision, state leaders now have until January 17th to either enact a Constitutional plan or submit one or more alternative plans to the panel for consideration.

After that deadline, the judges could opt to impose a new plan without input.

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