Republicans Lose in High Court, AP Flubs Story

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against Colorado Republicans seeking to challenge a 2002 redistricting plan in the state, the Associated Press reports. The outlet seems to be only one reporting on the development so far, but the story omits several key details.

According the AP:

The Supreme Court today ruled against Colorado Republicans challenging a congressional redistricting plan favorable to Democrats.

The plan that was “favorable to Democrats” resulted in Republicans winning five of seven congressional districts in the 2002 election, including the then-new CD-7, which is evenly split among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters. The Republican-drawn plan sought to make that district more favorable to the GOP after Republican Bob Beauprez won the district by only 121 votes in 2002. Democrat Ed Perlmutter won the district last year.

In an unanimous decision, the justices said that the four Republicans were not entitled to sue in an effort to replace a redistricting plan ordered by a court with one passed by a Republican-controlled state legislature.

A Democratic state judge drew up the first redistricting plan in 2002, while the Republican Legislature drew one up in 2003.

A judge drew the 2002 plan because the legislature was deadlocked on the issue in 2001, when a new map should have been drawn according to 2000 Census numbers. State Republican lawmakers tried to override the judge by passing a new plan in 2003 – with three days left in the session. Their map, of course, was drawn to give Republicans a better edge in CD-3 and CD-7, both of which were won by GOP candidates under the judge-drawn plan. The lawmakers’ move was widely criticized, and the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional in a similar lawsuit in 2003, saying districts can be drawn only once every 10 years. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on that case in 2004.

Here’s the rest of the AP story:

The court plan had been put in place when a divided Colorado General Assembly was unable to agree on one in time for the 2002 election.

In their lawsuit, the Republican voters say the court-imposed map violates a right of citizens under the U.S. Constitution to vote for congressional candidates in districts created by state legislatures.

In an unsigned opinion, the justices said that the only injury the Republican voters allege is that the Elections Clause had not been followed.

”This injury is precisely the kind of undifferentiated, generalized grievance about the conduct of government that we have refused to countenance in the past,” the court stated.

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