WASHINGTON, D.C. — On March 17, a lawsuit was filed against Utah’s new congressional map passed after the release of 2020 census data. The complaint, brought on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Utah, Mormon Women for Ethical Government and individual voters, alleges that the new map is a partisan gerrymander that favors Republicans in violation of the Utah Constitution. The plaintiffs also argue that the Utah Legislature’s repeal of Proposition 4, a ballot initiative passed in 2018 that created an independent redistricting commission composed of citizens, “violated the people’s constitutionally guaranteed lawmaking power and right to alter and reform their government.” The lawsuit asks the state court to block the use of the new congressional map and reinstate Proposition 4 for future map-drawing processes. This is the first lawsuit to be filed against the map.
The plaintiffs focus their claims largely on how Salt Lake City is divided between the state’s four congressional districts. They allege the city was intentionally carved up to “crack” non-Republican voters across districts dominated by Republican voters, thereby diluting the voting strength of non-Republicans. Because of this configuration, the plaintiffs argue that the new map “will reliably produce exclusive Republican membership in the State’s congressional delegation for the foreseeable future.” The lawsuit suggests that the Legislature “repeatedly used anti-democratic measures” to pass this map, ignoring the independent commission’s nonpartisan map proposals, public feedback and the state’s demographics.