On January 9, 2023, the New Mexico Supreme Court will hear arguments in the suit brought by the Republican Party of New Mexico (RPNM) against the Democrats’ congressional maps, according to reports. The map drawing came after the 2020 Census required by law that reapportionment of district boundaries happen based on population.
RPNM is suing after Democrats rammed through extreme partisan gerrymandered maps last December that shifted the congressional map extremely in their favor. In the Second Congressional District, represented by GOP Rep. Yvette Herrell, the gerrymandering swung the seat from favoring Republicans by 14 points to now favoring Democrats by four points, according to FiveThirtyEight. That made Democrat Gabe Vasquez narrowly win the seat in the November 8 election.
The lawsuit claims Democrats illegally designed the new map to damage the reelection chances of the only Republican in the state’s congressional delegation, which now has proven to be an accurate assertion following the November 8 General Election.
The “drafters intentionally ‘cracked’ Republicans in southeastern New Mexico, thereby substantially diluting their votes,” the lawsuit alleges, adding that Democrats intentionally split communities of interest for political gain.
The Democrat-drawn map, which was originally made by the dark money George Soros-funded group the “Center for Civic Policy” (CCP), achieved the partisan gerrymander by plunging the Democrat-dominated South Valley of Albuquerque into the Second District while putting more conservative areas such as Hobbs and Roswell in the First and Third Congressional Districts.
In April, District Judge Fred Van Soelen of Clovis ruled it was too late to hear the case due to the approaching June 7, 2022, primary election. That has sent it to the state Supreme Court, which has taken the case. All five members of New Mexico’s fully Democrat Supreme Court either have been supported by Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who signed the maps into law, or were appointed by the governor.
Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Roswell’s Democrat Mayor Tim Jennings, State Sen. David Gallegos (R-Eunice), and a group of Republican voters.