California Supreme Court Rejects GOP Challenge to Redistricting

Posted October 26, 2011 at 5:57pm

The California Supreme Court denied a Republican challenge to the state’s new Congressional map today, clearing the way for the redrawn districts to remain in place for the next 10 years.

The lawsuit, led by former Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.) and filed Sept. 29, cited violations of the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. In a statement at the time, Radanovich said the independent redistricting commission drew “districts so politically driven that they violate our California Constitution, the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.”

The state used an independent redistricting commission for the first time this year. According to a law enacted in the past few years by voters, the commission could not draw lines with respect to incumbents’ homes or current districts. It did, however, carve Congressional boundaries with minority populations in mind.

The state Supreme Court also denied a challenge to the new state Senate lines, dealing two blows to the GOP, which is likely to lose seats in next year’s elections.

“The court demonstrated that deference should be given to the constitutional process created by the voters and the reasonable results of that process that are reflected in the certified maps,” said George Brown, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which was one of two firms representing the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.