Denver (AP) — Colorado’s Supreme Court on Monday approved the state’s new congressional map, rejecting arguments from civil rights groups that the redistricting plan deprives Latinos of a fair say in congressional elections.
The map from the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission preserved the state’s 4-3 split between Democratic and Republican-leaning house districts, while adding an eighth in the suburbs north of Denver that is a legitimate swing district, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.
The court had until Monday to approve the map or send it back. Democratic and civil rights groups asked the court to make the commission redraw the boundaries to increase the number of Latinos in both the new swing seat and the southern and western district currently represented by Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert. They argued that provisions in the 2018 ballot measure establishing the commission required extra attention to bolstering the political power of minority groups.
But the court found the provisions simply echo requirements of the Voting Rights Act that are not applicable in a state like Colorado, where the Latino population is widely dispersed and it would be challenging to draw a majority-Latino district.
“We conclude that the Commission’s Plan complies with the VRA,” Justice Monica Marquez wrote.