Democrats file third lawsuit over new Kansas congressional map

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Democrats filed a third lawsuit on Tuesday against a congressional redistricting law passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, arguing that GOP gerrymandering was intended to “virtually nullify” Democratic votes in Lawrence’s liberal enclave.

Four Democrats from northeast Kansas City filed a lawsuit in Douglas County District Court, claiming the new law violated the Kansas Constitution. It moved Lawrence from the 2nd District of northeastern Kansas to the sprawling 1st District of central and western Kansas with conservative Republican communities hours away by car.

The United States Supreme Court said in 2019 that partisan gerrymandering is a political problem and not for the federal courts to resolve. This still leaves the question whether state courts could declare that the Kansas Constitution separately prohibits gerrymandering.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday and two others filed last month in Wyandotte County District Court seek such a ruling.

Republican lawmakers rejected the gerrymandering claims.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, has already filed a petition with the Kansas Supreme Court, asking it to intervene and declare that partisan gerrymandering is also not a problem for the courts. of state. Schmidt’s spokesman John Milburn said the Democrats who filed the lawsuit on Tuesday “appear to be raising the same legal issues.”

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