SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The lawsuit regarding the state’s allegedly unconstitutional congressional redistricting process is heading to the Utah Supreme Court.
The Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit government watchdog group, said on Monday, Jan. 9, that the Supreme Court has taken up the lawsuit challenging Utah’s allegedly gerrymandered congressional redistricting map.
A group of plaintiffs including the League of Women Voters and Mormon Women for Ethical Government filed a lawsuit against the Utah State Legislature, Utah Redistricting Committee and other lawmakers, accusing them of ignoring recommendations by an independent commission and adopting their own map.
After taking up the case, the Supreme Court also reinstated the claim that the Legislature illegally repealed Proposition 4, which the lower court had previously dismissed.
The Campaign Legal Center, League of Women Voters of Utah and Mormon Women for Ethical Government issued the following statement on Monday:
“Regardless of which court hears our case, the facts remain the same. Utah’s legislature gerrymandered their congressional map to lock in power and undermined the will of voters in the process. We look forward to defending Utahns’ constitutional rights at the state supreme court so every vote counts equally and every voice is heard.”
In 2018, Utah voters passed an initiative to create Proposition 4, also known as Better Boundaries, which established the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission designated to take the lead in formulating statewide redistricting plans.
In 2020, the Utah legislature overruled the proposition by passing S.B. 200. The redistricting amendments “rescinded critical Proposition 4 reforms” and gave the Legislature the power to “reject Commission’s impartial maps for any reason or no reason at all and with no explanation,” the lawsuit says.
The Campaign Legal Center said the new amendment allowed the Legislature to disregard the Commission’s research and create its own “extreme partisan gerrymandered map.”
In 2021, the Legislature formed its own twenty-member Legislative Redistricting Committee. The lawsuit alleges the LRC conducted a “closed-door” mapmaking process and did not explain or publish the criteria that guided its redistricting decisions.