Supreme Court Rejects GOP Redistricting Case

Posted March 6, 2007 at 10:08am

The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously rejected attempts by Centennial State Republicans to throw out a court-drawn Congressional redistricting map in favor of one drawn by the Legislature when state government was controlled by Republicans.

The justices ruled that Republicans were not permitted to sue to have a map that a Democratic state judge drew in 2002 replaced with one agreed upon by the Republican Legislature a year later. When state legislators failed to agree on Congressional district boundaries in time for the 2002 elections, the state judge stepped in.

In attempting to redraw the map in 2003, Republicans and then-Gov. Bill Owens (R) argued that they were justified in doing so because the court, rather than the Legislature, had drawn the lines, robbing the Legislature of its once-a-decade responsibility to set Congressional boundaries. The Republican map was far more favorable to the GOP than the court-ordered map was.

But the Colorado Supreme Court threw out the new GOP map and restored the court-drawn lines, arguing that legislators had forfeited their opportunity to create a map when they could not agree on the lines in 2002. Democrats have picked up House seats in Colorado in the previous two election cycles.

A U.S. District Court last year ruled that the Republicans’ case could proceed through federal courts on the grounds that a violation of the state’s election clause might have occurred. But the high court on Monday sided with the state Supreme Court.

“This injury is precisely the kind of undifferentiated, generalized grievance about the conduct of government that we have refused to countenance in the past,” the high court wrote, according to an Associated Press report.
— David M. Drucker