Republicans file federal redistricting appeal
As expected, Republicans on Monday asked a federal court to intervene in the dispute over redistricting of state House seats.
From The Associated Press:
“GOP lawyers filed a lawsuit on behalf of several voters asking a federal court in Albuquerque to appoint a three judge panel to draw district boundaries for the 70-member House. The voters include two Albuquerque-area Republicans who intend to run for House seats once new districts are established.
“The lawsuit contends the state Supreme Court acted improperly last week in ordering retired state District Court Judge James Hall to revamp a redistricting plan he had approved. Democrats had challenged Hall’s plan, saying it could help Republicans pick up House seats in future elections. Hall adopted a House plan that largely mirrored district configurations recommended by the governor and other GOP officials.”
You can read the entire complaint by visiting Capitol Report New Mexico. It was filed late Monday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque.
As NMPolitics.net reported Monday, when Hall approved Gov. Susana Martinez’s proposal for redistricting state House seats in January, he decided that, while her plan shifted things to the right, it did so less than the Democrats’ plan shifted things to the left.
So Hall chose the less-partisan plan – and one he deemed within acceptable limits.
In a 4-1 decision, the Supreme Court last week sent Hall back to the drawing board. Justices effectively told Hall that, rather than choosing the least partisan plan, he should draw his own, non-partisan map of state House districts.
The justices in the majority directed Hall to create a “partisan neutral” map by Feb. 27.
On Monday, Hall appointed Albuquerque pollster and consultant Brian Sanderoff, who lawmakers employed to help draw their redistricting proposals earlier in the process, to help the judge draw a new state House map.