NM Republicans score legal win in Dem gerrymandering case

On Tuesday, the New Mexico Republican Party (RPNM) announced it had scored a legal win in the Fifth Judicial District Court over Democrats in a battle to overturn Democrats’ gerrymandered congressional maps. 

Judge Fred Van Soelen denied the defendants’ request to dismiss the case, saying RPNM can “continue its litigation and claims under the state Constitution,” according to a press release.

“(The) Plaintiffs complaint makes a strong, well-developed case that Senate Bill 1 is a partisan gerrymander created in an attempt to dilute Republican votes in Congressional races in New Mexico. They make a strong, well-developed case that Senate Bill 1 does not follow traditional districting principles, including a lack of compactness, lack of preservation of communities of interest, and failure to take into consideration political and geographic boundaries,” ruled Van Soelen.

RPNM’s news release noted, “While the Court ruled there is not enough time to redraw maps or interfere with the 2022 Primary and General Elections, the ruling allows RPNM to continue to move through the courts to change the Congressional maps so that they will provide equal protection under the law and fair and just representation.”

“We are pleased with the Court’s ruling and that the Court understands that we have important and legitimate claims under the Constitution,” said RPNM Chairman Steve Pearce. 

“These Congressional maps were ramrodded through the Democrat-led legislature for political gain. This is not a political issue but a fairness issue—we want to ensure that all the voices of New Mexicans are protected and represented by these maps, regardless of their political beliefs. The Court recognizes that we have strong evidence to support our claim of blatant illegal gerrymandering that rips apart communities of interest and disenfranchises voters across the state. RPNM will always stand for fairness, the rule of law, and the core principles of our democracy.”

Previously, the Legislature forewent reasonably drawn maps to adopt radically gerrymandered maps drawn by the George Soros-funded dark money group Center for Civic Policy (CCP). These maps were rammed through the Legislature with little to no debate from the public in a closed-door gerrymandering session where only those who wore masks and were jabbed were allowed entrance.

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