Lawsuit Filed to Challenge New California Map

Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:50pm

Former Rep. George Radanovich (R) and four other individuals filed a lawsuit with the California Supreme Court on Thursday challenging the new Congressional district lines adopted by the state’s independent redistricting commission.
The suit focuses on three districts in the Los Angeles area, the redrawn 37th, 43rd and 44th districts. The 69-page complaint identifies those areas as in violation of the Voting Rights Act, and says those three along with the Long Beach-based 47th district are in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

In a statement, Radanovich said the commission drew “districts so politically driven that they violate our California Constitution, the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.”
Representing the Radanovich group is attorney Steve Baric, who is vice chairman of the California GOP, though the party says it’s not officially involved in the lawsuit.
In anticipation of a lawsuit, the California Citizen Redistricting Commission had retained representation by July from the law firms Morrison Foerster and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
Republicans are assured of losing seats under the map put in place by the state’s new commission, which replaced the partisan mapmaking process that had secured incumbent safety in decades past. Members of the party are also unhappy with the state Senate lines, which could be challenged through a lawsuit or referendum.
Under the new state law, any legal challenge would bypass the usual appeals process and proceed directly to the state Supreme Court.