WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, a lawsuit was filed in Oregon state court on behalf of four Republicans, all former elected officials in the state, challenging the state’s newly-passed congressional map. The petition argues that the map, which splits the state into six congressional districts, is a partisan gerrymander that favors Democrats in violation of the Oregon Constitution. The suit argues that the new map “harms Petitioners by targeting them based on their political views and their voluntary association with Republican Party candidates, and dilutes their votes for this same reason.” The petitioners ask the court to both block the map from going into effect and draw new congressional districts.
Oregon was the first state to enact a new congressional map earlier this year. The lawsuit argues that the new map was enacted through a “highly partisan process” controlled by Democrats who allegedly refused to negotiate with Republicans on proposed maps. The petitioners argue that the map, which the petitioners state will favor Democrats in five out of six districts (an analysis by OregonLive predicted three safe Democratic seats, one safe Republican seat, one seat that leans Democratic and one highly competitive seat), is a partisan gerrymander that violates the state’s constitution because it was passed “with partisan intent and for partisan purposes: to provide a more favorable Oregon congressional map for Democrats.” The petitioners assert, without providing evidence of such discussions, that “Oregon Democrats in the Legislative Assembly knew and privately discussed with members of their own party on the House Redistricting Committee that the proposed map was obviously politically gerrymandered in the Democrats’ favor and would never withstand a court challenge.”
Read the petition here.