Illinois Republicans filed a legal motion on Thursday to compel the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to divulge information about its participation in redrawing the state’s controversial new Congressional map.
Republicans charge that DCCC staff drew some of the most contentious parts of the new map around the Chicago suburbs, and now the committee is stonewalling their subpoenas for information pertinent to their case.
“Having injected itself into the Illinois congressional redistricting process, the DCCC now seeks to hide behind a series of bogus objections which are wholly lacking in merit,” the motion states.
The motion is part of Illinois Republicans’ ongoing legal efforts to overturn the new Congressional map. Illinois Democrats drew an aggressive map earlier this year that dismantled several of the state’s GOP-held districts, moving Republican Members into unwinnable districts or forcing them to run against each other.
In hopes of reversing their fortunes, Republicans sued to overturn the map in July, charging partisan and racial gerrymandering. Now the same GOP Members charge the DCCC with impeding their requests for information.
The motion details an April incident in which an Illinois Democratic Member showed a “draft partial Congressional reapportionment plan” to an Illinois Republican Member. Without naming the Member, the motion alleges that the Democratic Member “informed his Republican colleague that the DCCC and/or one of its agents created the draft map.”
Republicans say that draft map was “incorporated almost wholesale” into the map proposed by Democrats in the state Legislature and signed into law. They cited the “distinct and unusual shape” of Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez’s 4th district as “nearly identical” to the one drawn on the draft map.
“While minor changes were made in the version ultimately passed by the General Assembly — such as extending the proposed 5th district an additional block to separate [GOP] Rep. Judy Biggert from her constituents — the plans clearly are related,” the motion reads. “Given this apparent nexus between the DCCC draft and the Proposed Congressional Plan which is now Illinois law, Plaintiffs, who challenge the constitutionality of the Proposed Congressional Plan, rightfully seek information from the entity and/or individuals who had a role in creating that plan.”
Federal courts ordered a three-judge panel to consider the redistricting case. There’s no word yet how long judges will look over the case.
This week, Illinois Congressional candidates started circulating petitions to run for office due in early December. The state’s primaries are scheduled for March 20.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.