Monday, December 1, 2003

Colorado Slaps The Republicans

From the NY Times, the Colorado Supreme Court has overturned the Republican-screwed redistricting plan:

DENVER — In a decision that could have national implications, the Colorado Supreme Court threw out the state’s new congressional districts Monday because the GOP-led Legislature redrew the maps in violation of the constitution.

The General Assembly is required to redraw the maps only after each census and before the ensuing general election — not at any other time, the court said in a closely watched decision. A similar court battle is being waged in Texas.

Under the ruling, Colorado’s seven congressional districts revert to boundaries drawn up by a Denver judge last year after lawmakers failed to agree.

The issue before the court was whether the redistricting map pushed through the Legislature by Republicans this year was illegal. Colorado’s constitution calls for redistricting only once a decade and Democrats contended the task was completed by the judge.

Republicans said the map drawn by the judge was temporary and the law requires redistricting work to be done by the Legislature.

Republicans now hold five of the state’s seven congressional seats. Democrats hope to pick up two of those seats if they win the court fight.

State GOP Chairman Ted Halaby had said the case could end up in the U.S. Supreme Court if there are conflicting decisions in Colorado and Texas, which also has a pending court challenge.

“This is the whole ball of wax,” said Tom Downey, an attorney for Colorado Democrats who challenged the Republican-drawn maps.

Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) has announced plans to have the Colorado Supreme Court justices declared enemy combatants in the War On Democracy.