Kansas Supreme Court Rules Against Voters, Fair Maps
Kansas City, KS — Today, in a decision that will have ramifications for Kansas' voters for a decade, Kansas' Supreme Court reversed the district court's ruling. The lower court had found that the state’s recently enacted congressional map constituted a partisan gerrymander and intentionally diluted the voting power of racial minorities, violating the Kansas Constitution.
“The Kansas Supreme Court’s reversal of the lower court’s decision is a slap in the face to voters and runs afoul of the democratic values spelled out in Kansas’ own constitution. The Kansas Legislature crafted gerrymandered maps that purposefully divide Kansans based on race and political views to serve a political interest instead of the community’s needs," said Paul Smith, senior vice president of Campaign Legal Center. "Campaign Legal Center will keep fighting for fair maps, because voters deserve to choose their politicians instead of the other way around.”
“We’re obviously very disappointed for our clients,” said Sharon Brett, legal director for the ACLU of Kansas. “This will have ripple effects for elections for years to come, and tells entire categories of voters in the state that their rights under our state constitution are meaningless."
Alonzo, et al. v. Schwab, which was filed on behalf of 11 Kansas voters, alleged that Kansas’ 2022 congressional redistricting plan intentionally dilutes the voting power of racial minorities and constitutes a partisan gerrymander, violating the Kansas Constitution.
In April, a Kansas district court blocked the gerrymandered maps from taking effect and called for the Kansas Legislature to return to the drawing board to produce fair maps that ensure every voter has an equal voice ahead of the 2022 election.
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