SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A pending lawsuit in Utah accuses the legislature of gerrymandering.
The League of Women Voters and Mormon Women for Ethical Government are suing after Utah lawmakers ignored map recommendations by an independent commission and chose their own U.S. House districts after the census.
“None of the [maps] were perfect, but they were good. They took a lot of public input. It was a very robust feature, but the legislature instead chose to just throw that out and disregard it. We felt that was unfair to the populace that voted in favor of an independent commission, and that is why we are suing,” said Katharine Biele, Communications Director of the League of Women Voters of Utah.
In Washington D.C., members of the Utah League of Women Voters filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case, Moore V. Harper. The league said the ruling in favor of North Carolina would give legislatures free rein in election decisions, including drawing district lines.
“There would be no more checks and balances. You would not have the courts or the governor weigh in on redistricting issues. That is simply not acceptable to democracy,” Biele said.
Biele clarified her organization’s suit is just about Utah’s Congressional districts, but the decision in Moore V. Harper would affect the power of all legislatures, including Utah.
“We believe every voter has the right to be heard, and that is why we are supporting democracy,” Biele said.
The suit against Utah lawmakers heads to trial in May 2023.
Started with the suffragettes, the League of Women Voters of Utah is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization set on protecting and expanding voting rights and to ensure all are represented in our democracy.