A Friday decision by Ninth Judicial District Judge Fred T. Van Soelen addressed allegations that Democratic lawmakers in New Mexico intentionally diluted Republican voting power in the state’s second congressional district via gerrymandering. The ruling ruled in favor of the Democrats’ heavily partisan gerrymandered map.
Judge Van Soelen’s 14-page decision, while acknowledging that Democrats had effectively diluted the votes of their opponents, concluded that the evidence presented by the Republican plaintiffs fell short of demonstrating the Democrats’ success in entrenching their party in the second congressional district. The judge specifically noted that the efforts did not reach the threshold of an “egregious gerrymander.”
The ruling underscored the court’s assessment that although Democrats had achieved a notable dilution of Republican votes, the evidence did not establish a level of success in entrenching Democratic dominance in the district. This decision comes amid ongoing debates and legal challenges surrounding redistricting processes and allegations of partisan gerrymandering in various jurisdictions across the country.
In his ruling, Judge Van Soelen emphasized the importance of evidence in proving claims of gerrymandering, stating that the Republican plaintiffs did not present sufficient evidence to support their argument that the redrawing of the electoral map aimed at entrenching the Democratic Party in the second congressional district.
Despite evidence presented in court, including text messages to nonprofits by Democrat legislators bragging about the gerrymander, the judge ruled in favor of the leftist gerrymandered map.