A Kansas district court judge has struck down a new Republican-backed congressional map that would likely make it harder for the only Democrat in the state’s delegation to win reelection this year.
It was the first time a court has declared that the Kansas Constitution prohibits political gerrymandering.
The state attorney general’s office notified the Kansas Supreme Court almost immediately to expect an appeal of the decision.
The decision from Wyandotte County District Judge Bill Klapper came a little more than five weeks before the state’s June 1 candidate filing deadline.
Republican legislators immediately dismissed the ruling as coming from a partisan judge because Klapper is an elected Democrat.
The state argued that Davids’ district emerged slightly more competitive than it had been.
The state’s attorneys also argued that nothing in the Kansas Constitution allows state courts to review congressional maps or to consider political gerrymandering as an issue.
Meanwhile, the Kansas Supreme Court has until May 25 under the state constitution to rule on a separate law redrawing Kansas House, Senate and Board of Education districts.