CO Supreme Court Should Reject Submitted Congressional Redistricting Map that Stifles Latino Voting Power
DENVER, CO – Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and its client, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Colorado League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), submitted a brief to the Colorado Supreme Court urging the Court to reject the Congressional Redistricting Commission’s adopted map because it violates the Colorado Constitution’s strong protections of Latino voters.
“The Latino community in Colorado has been growing quickly, and the new maps this year need to reflect that,” said Mark Gaber, senior director of redistricting at CLC and the lead attorney representing LULAC. “Coloradans voted overwhelmingly in 2018 to reform the congressional redistricting process and guarantee strong protections for the state’s large and rapidly growing Latino population. Communities require equity in government representation so that their voices are heard and needs are met. The map adopted by the Commission fails that standard and should be rejected by the Colorado Supreme Court.”
In Colorado, 21.9% of people identify as Latino and that community has increased by close to a quarter million people over the last decade. In spite of this, the Commission’s submitted congressional map needlessly prevents these voters from electing Latino-preferred candidates in the State’s congressional delegation. The Commission’s map violates the state Constitution’s strong protection of Latino voters’ electoral influence. The dilutive map was also the product of a secretive process in which the Commission evaluated minority vote dilution outside of public view and in violation of the Constitution’s robust transparency requirements.
CLC and LULAC have submitted two alternative congressional plans that satisfy all the Commission’s other redistricting criteria as well or better than the Commission’s map, while also avoiding the preventable dilution of Latino voters. Both maps, viewable on CLC’s website, would protect Latino voting rights by drawing districts in southern Colorado and the north Denver suburbs that do not dilute Latino voters’ electoral influence.