Idaho Dispatch

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Idaho Supreme Court Consolidates Redistricting Map Lawsuits Into One

By • November 28, 2021

The Idaho Supreme Court has decided to roll two lawsuits against the current proposed redistricting map into one lawsuit.

The Ada County Commissioners have filed one of the lawsuits, and the other was filed by Branden Durst, a candidate for State Superintendent of Education. Durst was also one of the individuals who had submitted a map for consideration.

Idaho Dispatch reached out to Durst to ask why he filed a lawsuit against the current proposed map.

Here is what Durst said,

In light of the Idaho Commission for Reapportionment’s decision to adopt a legislative plan that lacked deference to Article III, Section 5 of Idaho Constitution, I along with my attorney, Bryan Smith, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the adopted plan. As a constitutional conservative, I believe that we must defend the constitution in all matters, including redistricting.

The facts of the case are clear. The Commission adopted a plan that needlessly split counties and had excessive external divisions needed to comply with the US Constitution equal protection requirements. The Commission was told on several occasions and in several forums, public and private, that if they chose to ignore the Idaho Constitution there would be a lawsuit. This is a fulfillment of that promise.

Idaho Dispatch also asked Durst his response to those who claim he is only upset because the redistricting commission did not choose his map.

Here was Dursts’ response to Idaho Dispatch’s question,

I would welcome the Commission adopting any plan that has the least number of counties externally divided and has the least number of total external divisions, provided that doesn’t include dividing a county externally that could otherwise be wholly contained or be internally divided.

The redistricting commission has until December 16th to file its argument against the lawsuit.

Oral arguments are expected sometime in January. There is little time between the oral arguments and when candidates will file to run for legislative offices, which will open sometime in February of next year.

The ISC has had to deal with lawsuits the last two times redistricting was done as well.

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Tags: Ada County Commissioners, Branden Durst, Bryan Smith, Idaho Supreme Court, Redistricting Commission

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