Colo. SC OKs legislative redistricting plan

Jessica M. Karmasek Dec. 13, 2011, 3:44pm

DENVER (Legal Newsline) - The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday approved new legislative redistricting maps that favor state Democrats.

The state's high court had ordered the state's Reapportionment Commission to come up with a new set of maps, agreeing with Republicans that its first set split too many counties.

The commission then approved a new set, drawn by Democrats, in November.

"Upon consideration of the Resubmitted Plan for Districts for the Senate and House of Representatives filed by the Colorado Reapportionment Commission on December 5, 2011, together with the statements filed by the proponents and opponents herein, and now being sufficiently advised in the premises, it is ordered that Resubmitted Plan for Districts for the Senate and House of Representatives shall be, and the same hereby is approved," the Court's en banc order states.

According to the Denver Post, the new maps put several incumbent Republican lawmakers in the same district.

Ryan Call, chairman of the Colorado GOP, said Monday he couldn't believe the Court approved such a "partisan power grab."

"I am incredibly disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to ignore countless hours of public testimony and rubber-stamp the Democrats' highly partisan maps," he said in a statement.

"The reapportionment process is clearly broken; it allowed the Democrats to game the system using heavy handed tactics to run out the clock at the expense of the citizens of Colorado."

The Court, in its brief, three-paragraph order, said the resubmitted plan must be filed with the Colorado Secretary of State's Office no later than Wednesday.

Last week, the Court affirmed the ruling of a lower court in favor of a new congressional redistricting map that also favors Democrats.

The Court did not explain its reasoning in its three-sentence order and mandate Dec. 5, saying a written opinion would follow "in the near future."

The new congressional map was selected by Denver Circuit Judge Robert Hyatt following a trial in October after the state Legislature failed to agree on a map.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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