The Lawsuits Over Redistricting

Oregon Republicans have filed the lawsuit that many expected.  

Former Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno and three others filed the suit in Marion County, claiming that the new district boundaries laid out in late September are unconstitutional and counteract state law.  

The redistricting in question was pushed through by Democrats following a special legislative session late last month. It may result in Democratic control of five out of six state seats in the US House of Representatives. The sixth seat was added due to the population growth documented during the 2020 US Census.  

The Democrats hold majorities in both the Senate and House, giving them an advantage during the redistricting process. The redistricting effort was stalled several times by Oregon Republicans, including walkouts and members who failed to appear.  

These stalling efforts followed an already delayed redistricting thanks to COVID complications in receiving the 2020 Census.  

Oregon Dems Bite Back 

The National Democratic Party is pushing back against the Republican lawsuits claiming the Oregon remapping process was unfair. Democrats insist that the new maps evenly and legally represent the standards in place for the redistricting map process.  

“This map represents compromise not only because of how it was enacted — with Republicans and Democrats negotiating throughout the process — but also because it is a competitive map that is reflective of the state,” Kelly Burton, president of the NDRC, said in a statement.  

As the map currently stands, there are four districts which can be considered safe for Democratic candidates. One district is considered a Republican Stronghold. One district is considered a tossup between the parties.  

Republicans believe that this would result in Democrats winning in five of the six districts – sending a mostly Democratic contingent to Washington DC. They also claim that the remapping, which was begun in a cooperative spirit, was in essence stolen when House Speaker Tina Kotek chose to dis-include Republicans.  

Democrats believe this map is fair, legal, the product of compromise and negotiation between the parties, and “based on neutral redistricting criteria.”  

The panel which will be making the decision on whether or not to approve the map consists of five retired circuit court judges.   

By Ethan Hauck & Sally K Lehman 

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