Colorado Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in state legislative district reapportionment case on 9 November
The Colorado Supreme Court has set a date (9 November 2011) to hear oral arguments in the case of eleven challenges to the constitutionality (filed predominantly by affected county governments) of the state legislative district maps filed by the Colorado Reapportionment Commission in early October for constitutional review by the Colorado Supreme Court (yes, these challenges… “go to eleven”).
(Hearings begin at 9AM in the Old Supreme Court courtroom, Colorado Capitol, 200 E. Colfax Avenue, Second Floor, Denver CO 80203)
Many of the challenges (from across the state) arose in response to the eleventh-hour introduction of an entirely new set of maps by the commission’s sole unaffiliated member (and chair) Mario Carrera – the maps that were, in the end, approved – after earlier maps had been subjected to multiple rounds of public comment and scrutiny (beginning with meetings in Denver from 31 May to 25 July, followed by meetings around the state throughout August, and a final commission meeting on 12 September.
- House Final Plan Maps & Reports
- Senate Final Plan Maps & Reports
- Maps by District (sets): (House District 1-20), (House District 21-40), (House District 41-60), (House District 61-65), (Senate District 1-35)
- Google Earth maps (requires Google Earth download): Final Plan House (download zip file),Final Plan Senate (download zip file)
The Colorado Latino Forum – the sole group that had filed a brief in support of the approved maps, prior to the challenges – also filed a reply brief in response to challenges of the maps.
The Colorado Reapportionment Commission legal counsel filed a somewhat lengthier reply brief in response to the eleven challenges as well.
Ironically, the Colorado Supreme Court must now review the approved maps – and challenges to the approved maps – which are largely the sole creation of Colorado Reapportionment Commission Chair Mario Carrera, appointed to the commission by Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender. The court will essentially be reviewing the work product of its own appointee – a potential conflict of interest that in other circumstances might warrant recusal, and which highlights the problematic involvement of the courts in deciding issues of policy and politics.
- State Courts Reapportionment page
- Additional information is also available on the Reapportionment Commission website.
- Constitutional Provisions Controlling Reapportionment/Redistricting (state website listing relevant legal language on Congressional redistricting & legislative reapportionment)
Clear The Bench Colorado will, with your support, continue to promote transparency and accountability in the Colorado judiciary, informing the public to increase awareness of the substantial public policy implications of an unrestrained activism and political agendas in the courts. We will continue to work to educate voters and provide information of relevance related to the judicial branch, and to provide useful and substantive evaluations of judicial performance.
Ultimately, though – it’s worth the effort.