Kansas Supreme Court hears redistricting arguments

Attorney General's office says it's not the court's purview to consider how legislators have redrawn the voting map, which overwhelmingly favors Republican office holders


State News

May 16, 2022 - 5:07 PM

Mark Johnson, attorney for State Sen. Mark Holland, makes his case in front of the Kansas Supreme Court. (Thad Allton for Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Justices of the Kansas Supreme Court stepped into an explosive legal and political drama Monday triggered by the Legislature’s decision to split the state’s most diverse county between two congressional districts and relegate Lawrence to the rural conservative 1st District reaching into western Kansas.

A Wyandotte County District Court judge ruled the map carving the state into four congressional districts based on the 2020 U.S. Census violated the Kansas Constitution. Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court seeking reversal of the judge’s opinion in a case that consolidated three lawsuits against Secretary of State Scott Schwab and election officials in Douglas and Wyandotte counties.

The 20 individual plaintiffs argued the map strategically engaged in partisan gerrymandering to undermine Democrats and diluted the voice of minority voters in violation of the constitution’s equal protection clause.

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