State Supreme Court orders extension on gerrymandering lawsuit

The legal battle surrounding the contentious congressional district map approved by a heavily Democratic New Mexico Legislature in 2021 has taken a new turn, as the state Supreme Court granted an extension of five days to a state district judge to settle a lawsuit brought forward by the Republican Party. Initially, the Supreme Court had set a deadline of October 1 for the District Court to resolve the redistricting case. However, in a recent amendment to the order, the Supreme Court has extended the timeline, stipulating that the court must take all necessary steps to resolve the matter by October 6, 2023, including the entry of a final, appealable order.

The lawsuit, filed in January 2022 by the Republican Party of New Mexico and six individuals, including Democrat Roswell Mayor Timothy Jennings, contends that the changes made to the congressional district map resulted from illegal gerrymandering orchestrated by the Democratic-majority Legislature. The case was later assigned to 9th Judicial District Judge Fred T. Van Soelen following the recusal or unavailability of all judges in the 5th Judicial District who were initially considered for the case.

At the heart of the legal dispute is the allegation that the redrawing of congressional district boundaries was aimed at diluting the influence of Republican voters in Southern New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. The Republican Party’s argument centers on strategically shifting certain communities with substantial Republican populations into the two northern districts, where Democrats have historically held strong advantages. Simultaneously, Democrat communities were moved into the Second Congressional District in a power-grab by the far-left Legislature.

The Democrats’ gerrymandering turned the District from leaning Republican by 14 points to now favoring Democrats by four points — an 18-point swing.

This claim suggests that the redistricting strategy, rather than adhering to the principles of fair representation, was crafted to manipulate electoral outcomes for partisan gains. Gerrymandering, a political practice that manipulates the boundaries of electoral districts to favor one political party, has been a contentious issue across the United States. Critics argue that gerrymandering undermines the principles of democracy and citizen representation.

The legal battle highlights a broader debate on the fairness and ethics of redistricting processes, particularly when they appear to prioritize partisan interests over the interests of the constituents. 

Legislative Democrats have obstructed the lawsuit by refusing to sit down for depositions with the plaintiffs’ attorneys, while Democrats have sought to remove Democrat Mayor Jennings from the proceedings.

As the lawsuit proceeds, the implications of the outcome could have far-reaching effects on New Mexico’s political landscape. Examining allegations of gerrymandering underscores the significance of transparent and unbiased redistricting processes, which are essential for upholding the principles of democratic representation and ensuring that voters’ voices are accurately reflected in the corridors of power.


3 thoughts on “State Supreme Court orders extension on gerrymandering lawsuit”

  1. They just can’t help themselves. They want to be the one, the only party in this and other states yet they’ll yell the loudest when they are no longer the driving force in the legislature. Whine, whine, whine! That’s why we need to have FREE and FAIR elections!! We can play nice; but we need to be tough too. A LOT tougher! As my dad would have said, “OOH-RAH!!”
    Semper Fi, y’all.

  2. Without Election Integrity, *No one* has a voice.

    So… the (left) Supreme Court allowed for a further delay in getting this resolved? Seems like the longer it takes to get fixed, the more beneficial it would be to the socialist thugs that stole those elections. Huh….

  3. Attacking Tim Jennings? He has always been a stalwart for moderation and fairness. However, one party does not have history OR loyalty and in my humble opinion, morality. Respectfully

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