WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, six Oregon voters, including former Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins (D), filed a petition to intervene in a case brought by Republicans earlier this week challenging Oregon’s newly-passed congressional map. The potential intervenors seek to defend the new map, pushing back against Republicans’ claims that the map is a partisan gerrymander that favors Democrats in violation of the Oregon Constitution. Republicans ask the court to both block the map from going into effect and draw new congressional districts, while the potential intervenors ask the court to uphold the map and declare it legally sound.
The potential intervenors offer a number of rebuttals to the claims made in the Republicans’ petition. While the Republicans’ petition asserts that the new congressional map is a “clear, egregious partisan gerrymander” that was passed through a “highly partisan process,” the potential intervenors argue that “both the public and legislative records confirm what various news outlets reported: that the congressional map enacted by the Legislative Assembly and signed by Governor Brown was the result of a compromise among legislative leaders.” Furthermore, the allegation that the new districts heavily favor Democrats is exaggerated in the Republicans’ petition, according to the potential intervenors: “Several publicly available analyses indicate that the Compromise Map has three competitive districts, two of which (the Fourth and Sixth) lean Democratic and one of which (the Fifth) is tied or leans Republican.” The potential intervenors also highlight that the new map follows federal redistricting criteria as well as requirements laid out in the Oregon Constitution.