Kansas Supreme Court issue full opinions on redistricting

Justice Caleb Stegall said absence of standards in the Kansas Constitution or in Kansas statute limiting the Legislature’s use of political factors when crafting boundaries left the Supreme Court without a basis to reject work of state lawmakers.

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State News

June 22, 2022 - 3:10 PM

Kansas Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall authored the court’s full opinions Tuesday affirming constitutionality of the 2022 Legislature’s maps recasting district boundaries for congressional and legislative seats. Photo by (Thad Allton for Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court released full opinions Tuesday of decisions affirming constitutionality of new congressional and legislative district maps for use in the 2022 elections that concluded reliance on partisanship to gerrymander district boundaries wasn’t prohibited.

Justice Caleb Stegall, writing for the majority in the congressional mapping case, said absence of standards in the Kansas Constitution or in Kansas statute limiting the Legislature’s use of political factors when crafting boundaries left the Supreme Court without a basis to reject work of state lawmakers.

“We can discern no judicially manageable standards by which to judge a claim that the Legislature relied too heavily on the otherwise lawful factor of partisanship when drawing district lines,” Stegall said in the 105-page opinion on the congressional map. “As such, the question presented is a political question and is nonjusticiable, at least until such a time as the Legislature or the people of Kansas choose to codify such a standard into law.”

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