Kansas Supreme Court Rejects State Officials’ Attempt to End Redistricting Lawsuits
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On March 4, the Kansas Supreme Court denied a petition filed by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) seeking to block ongoing lawsuits against the state’s congressional map. The attorney general, who filed the petition on behalf of Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab (R), argued that these lawsuits, which were filed in state district court, raise nonjusticiable political questions that the Kansas judicial system cannot adjudicate and the lawsuits should be dismissed.
The state Supreme Court rejected the petition today, finding that the extraordinary relief the attorney general sought was not appropriate. The lawsuits at issue in the attorney general’s petition argue that the new congressional map is a partisan gerrymander that favors Republicans and dilutes minority voting strength in violation of the Kansas Constitution. The court acknowledged that the “validity of a legislatively enacted congressional reapportionment scheme is a matter of great public concern and statewide importance” and time “is of the essence in resolving the issues presented in this case as the 2022 election cycle is fast approaching.” The lawsuits against the new congressional map will now proceed at the trial court level, with the court “encourag[ing] the parties in the pending district court litigation to work with the district courts to expeditiously resolve the legal questions and to present a timely appeal, should any party desire appellate review.”