Map Under Fire

By an almost two to one margin, voters in 2010 approved the Fair Districts Amendments, the amendments prohibit lawmakers from intending to favor a party or a person. Now the League of Women Voters, who sponsored Fair Districts, is before the State Supreme Court trying to force lawmakers to talk about conversations with political consultants.

"The intent is in the Constitution, we should be able to inquire into all the facts relating to intent. But those facts include 'what did you consult with outside of political operative?” asked Attorney Sandy D’Alemberte.

But state lawmakers say they are exempt from any inquiry into what they did and why.

"That's prohibited ground, that's your position on this? It seems to me that other privileges don't fall into the category," said Justice Fred Lewis.

Afterwards, Attorney Raoul Cantero said forcing lawmakers to explain their intent would be a first.

“If the court would order depositions in this case, they would be the first court in the country to do so. We just want them to do what every other state has done," said Cantero.

But the League of Women Voters has already uncovered evidence of conversations with political operatives during the map drawing process. They want to learn more.

"Out of discovery from third party consulting showing that there was backroom dealings here that we believe show violation of the Amendments," said Adam Schachter.

The case before the court right now only pertains to Congressional Districts.

It could be expanded to include state lawmakers if unlawful intent is found.

The court took the matter under “advisement”. There is no set time for Justices to rule.


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