NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A three-judge panel has ordered the Republican-led legislature to redraw the state’s Senate districts. If they fail to act within 15 days, the judges will impose their own map for Senate elections later this year.

In a 2-1 ruling, Senators must now go back to the drawing board and the directive has leadership perplexed.

“That had me scratching my head, I couldn’t really figure out why they did. The advice from the Attorney General was that we could do it that way,” Lt. Governor Randy McNally said.

At issue are the numbering of Senate districts. The Tennessee State constitution states, “In a county having more than one Senatorial district, the districts shall be numbered consecutively.”

In Davidson County, Senate districts are not numbered consecutively as required under the law in the new map.

McNally says they will comply with the order if they are required to and that could lead to border changes for voters. “If we are forced to comply to the lower court’s ruling we would have to change boundaries.”

Democrats say if they were brought on to contribute to the map drawing, courts would not have stepped in. “We’re here because on the front end we were not included in the process and I think if we would change the process and it was more inclusive on the front end we wouldn’t be here,” said Rep. Vincent Dixie (D-Nashville).

Senate Democrats are arguing to follow the courts ruling despite the push from Senate leaders to appeal.

“We’ll do whatever the courts tell us, we worked with the Republicans to try to propose maps that would meet constitutional muster last time,” said Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville). “I think that we will work with them going forward to actually pass maps that will actually meet constitutional muster.”

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The filing deadline for Senate candidates will be pushed back to May 5. The deadline was previously April 6.