WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Nov. 17, two Republicans filed a lawsuit in a Nevada state court challenging the Silver State’s newly passed legislative and congressional maps. Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed the new districts into law on Nov. 16, the same day the Legislature approved the plans.
The suit, filed on behalf of current Republican Assemblyman Gregory Hafen II and one of his Republican constituents, alleges that the new maps are partisan gerrymanders that favor Democrats and have “the effect of denying voters an equal opportunity to participate in the political process of electing candidates of their choice in violation of federal and state law.” Currently, there are three Democrats and one Republican in Nevada’s congressional delegation; the approved map will likely maintain this split. However, the plaintiffs argue that both the congressional and legislative plans “single out Republican and Independent voters for disfavored treatment by ‘packing’ and ‘cracking’ them into districts with the aim of diluting their votes.” The complaint focuses on the town of Pahrump, which is represented by plaintiff Hafen, claiming that map drawers intentionally split the rural town between two Assembly districts in order to dilute the voting strength of its residents. The suit asserts that both the state and federal districts “are not properly apportioned” in line with the Nevada and U.S. Constitutions and asks the court to strike them down before the 2022 election cycle.