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GOP Congressmen Sue Over Remap

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    NEWSLETTERS

    You knew this was coming. A week after statehouse Republicans filed a federal lawsuit against the Democratic Party’s blatantly partisan legislative remap, Congressional Republicans are filing their own suit. Like their counterparts in Springfield, the D.C. GOPers are also charging that the map discriminates against Republicans and Latinos. They even found a few Latino Republicans to act as plaintiffs.

    The map, which was named as one of the greatest gerrymandings of the last 20 years by the Cook Political Report, is designed to turn the current 11-8 Republican advantage into a 12-6 Democratic advantage, after accounting for the seat lost in the 2010 Census. It seeks to eliminate Republican congressmen by, among other tricks, drawing Rep. Bob Dold into Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s district, and pitting Rep. Judy Biggert against Rep. Mike Quigley. From the suit:

     
    The dismantling of Republican Congresswoman Judy Biggert’s current
    congressional District 13 in Southern DuPage, Northern Will, and Southwestern Cook Counties is particularly striking. Under the Proposed Congressional Plan, Republican-leaning portions of current District 13 are packed into proposed Districts 6 and 14. The removal of those voters from current District 13 allows for the creation of proposed Districts 3 and 11, which are blatantly gerrymandered, irregularly shaped districts drawn with no apparent reason other than to encompass sufficient Democratic voters from Democratic strongholds such as Aurora, Joliet, or Chicago’s southwest side to create new districts with 51% Democratic majorities. Adding insult to injury, proposed District 5 sweeps in a curving hook from the Lake Michigan shoreline on the north side of Chicago around the Latino enclaves on Chicago’s west side that are packed into proposed District 4 until it just catches Congresswoman Biggert’s suburban Hinsdale home at its very tip.
    The suit also charges that Rep. Luis Gutierrez’s 4th District -- the so-called “earmuff” district that winds through the western suburbs to join Latino strongholds on the Northwest and Southwest sides of Chicago – violates the Voting Rights Act. The district has been in its current form since 1990, but Republicans are arguing it’s now illegal because it packs the growing Latino population into a single district:
    The Proposed Congressional Plan converts the District 4 that was created in 1991 in order to provide representation to Latinos into one that now denies effective representation to Latinos…Given the current Latino voting age population in Cook County and nearby, the “earmuff” district no longer complies with the Fourteenth Amendment because there are other viable and constitutionally permissible alternatives to proposed District 4. The district, therefore, is unconstitutional.

    The suit's plaintiffs include every Illinois Republican congressman except Tim Johnson of Urbana, whose Eastern Illinois district still leans Republican.

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