State Watch

Kansas Supreme Court upholds GOP-drawn House map

Kansas Legislative Research Department via AP
FILE – This image shows the “Ad Astra 2” congressional redistricting plan for Kansas drafted by the Kansas Legislative Research Department for Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled Legislature, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. A Kansas district court judge on Monday, April 25, 2022, struck down a new Republican-backed congressional map…

The Kansas Supreme Court upheld a Republican-drawn House map that would split a racially diverse county in the state in two, reversing a decision made by a Kansas judge last month to toss out the map.

“A majority of the court holds that, on the record before us, plaintiffs have not prevailed on their claims that [the redistricted map] violates the Kansas Constitution. Therefore, the judgment of the district court is reversed and the permanent injunction ordered by the district court is lifted,” Kansas Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall wrote for the court’s majority in a Wednesday ruling.

“A full opinion describing the facts, rationale, and holdings of the court is forthcoming, along with all dissenting or concurring opinions of members of the court,” he added.

The new map would split Democratic stronghold Wyandotte County in two, moving part of the county into Rep. Jake LaTurner’s (R-Kansas) district and leaving less of it in the district represented by Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas).

In exchange, the map would add all of Franklin and Anderson counties to Davids’s district, in addition to parts of the conservative Miami County. Overwhelming majorities in all three counties voted for former President Trump in 2020.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) vetoed the map earlier this year, but that veto was overridden days later by the Republican-controlled Senate. A Democratic judge, Wyandotte County District Judge Bill Klapper, then tossed out the map last month and demanded that the legislature draw new lines.

The state Supreme Court’s ruling allows the new map to go into effect following the lower court’s injunction.

Tags Jake LaTurner Laura Kelly Sharice Davids Trump

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