Groups suing over Utah congressional boundaries, call it gerrymandering
SALT LAKE CITY — The fight over Utah’s congressional boundaries is heading into the next round.
The League of Women Voters of Utah and Mormon Women for Ethical Government are suing the state, asking a judge to block the map adopted by the lawmakers and replace it with one made by the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission. Several groups had expressed they might consider suing the state after the House and Senate approved the congressional boundaries.
League President Kathrine Weller said lawmakers drew their map in secret.
“Despite overwhelming testimony in favor of the commission’s maps at their own hearing, our legislature shut out the very people they represent,” said Weller at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Attorney David Reymann said their goal is to have the legislative map ruled as unlawful, plus they want the map redrawn. They’re also asking the judge to reinstate the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission. During the press conference, several people who worked on the commission spoke about all of the public comments they listened to, and all the hours they worked on their redistricting map just to have it thrown away.
“The people’s right to enact legislation, we believe, is more durable than the legislature simply discarding it in the way that they did,” Reymann said.
He said an initiative approved by the voters has just as much authority as a law passed on Capitol Hill. So, the map created by the voter-approved commission should have been followed.
Reymann said, “There may be a legitimate way for the legislature to alter enactments that the people directly initiate through the initiative process, but we don’t believe it was followed, in this case.”
Gov. Spencer Cox says there was no illegal gerrymandering in the legislative map, but he can’t comment on the lawsuit.
“This is something we’ve talked about, at length, and I’m not sure there’s any more to add to the discussion out there,” the governor said.
Today’s Top Stories
- Police say Herriman woman tried to bribe an officer
- Black bear captured in Morgan County
- Fire sets off a propane explosion in Pleasant Grove
- California churchgoers detained gunman in deadly attack
- Be over the moon because total lunar eclipse coming Sunday to Utah
- Man found dead from self-inflicted wound following SWAT situation
- Dog thrown out of car taken in by South Salt Lake Animal Services
- iPhone sale gone wrong results in the arrest of a Salt Lake City man
- A notorius ice skating hitman finds redemption through his sister’s eyes
- Abbott says agreement reached to reopen baby formula plant