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Supreme Court rules in Colorado redistricting

  Law Center  -   POSTED: 2007/03/06 17:29

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in two cases Monday, including Lance v. Coffman, where the Court concluded that four Republican voters in Colorado did not have standing to challenge a court-ordered congressional redistricting plan. A state judge in Colorado drew up a redistricting plan in 2002 when the state legislature was unable to agree on a plan in time for elections that year. The legislature drew up a plan in 2003, but that plan was rejected by the Colorado Supreme Court because the state constitution allows for a new plan only once per decade. The state supreme court held that "judicially-created districts are just as binding and permanent as districts created by the General Assembly." The redistricting plan was subsequently challenged by four voters, who argued that their rights had been violated under the Elections Clause of the US Constitution, which states that the "Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators." The US Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiffs did not have standing, writing:
The only injury plaintiffs allege is that the law - specifically the Elections Clause - has not been followed. This injury is precisely the kind of undifferentiated, generalized grievance about the conduct of government that we have refused to countenance in the past. It is quite different from the sorts of injuries alleged by plaintiffs in voting rights cases where we have found standing. Because plaintiffs assert no particularized stake in the litigation, we hold that they lack standing to bring their Elections Clause claim.

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