Idaho Supreme Court Reviews New Congressional District Map | Idaho News
By REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments about whether the state’s redistricting commission met deadlines and properly split the state into two new congressional electoral districts. American.
Christopher Pentico filed a lawsuit against the bipartisan Idaho Commission for Allocation last year, claiming the new congressional district map violates Idaho law because it divides six electoral district boundaries locals in Ada County. The commission is charged every 10 years with redrawing legislative and congressional districts based on the most recent census.
Pentico created its own card proposal and submitted it to the commission a month before selecting a different final card, Pentico attorney Edward Dindinger said. Pentico’s map did not divide any electoral districts, although it did divide one more town than the commission’s final map – the town of Star, west of Boise. Dindinger noted that Star has a population of less than 10,000.
He said the commission should have known his own card was faulty based on its review of Pentico’s card.
“What is the purpose of allowing public participation in the redistricting process if there is no indication that such public participation is meaningfully considered by the commission?” Dindinger asked the high court.
Megan Larrondo, the deputy attorney general representing the commission and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, said Pentico’s reading of the law would lead to some bizarre results. County commissioners are allowed to redraw local electoral districts as they see fit, as they are essentially “administrative tools of convenience”, she said. In counties with rapidly changing populations, such as Ada, precincts are frequently redrawn to accommodate new residents.
“It would be absurd to handcuff the commission to outdated precinct lines that it knows will be redrawn,” Larrondo told the judges.
Pentico’s approach would make precincts ‘sacrosanct’ above preserving other communities of interest, she said, and could cause the commission to draw oddly shaped districts and act otherwise. contrary to legislative intent. The commission decided to split Ada County’s six precincts only after hearing testimony from county commissioners that they would soon be redrawn anyway, she said.
Larrondo also said the commission met its deadline with two weeks to spare because the redistricting maps were submitted within 90 days of the commission’s organization. She maintained that the timeline begins once the commission meets and elects its leaders, giving it the tools it needs to adopt the rules governing its work.
But Dindigner said the commission is officially organized once the secretary of state orders its creation — and that means the commission handed over the card two days late.
Larrondo’s reading “turns a 90-day deadline into no deadline,” Dindinger said.
The Idaho Supreme Court is expected to issue a written decision on the matter in the near future. The high court will also decide four other lawsuits, each challenging the new map redrawing Idaho’s 35 legislative districts.
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