October 23, 2014

Secretary of State Petitions to Alter Boundaries Between Multiple State Senate and House Districts

On Friday, August 24, 2012, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler petitioned the Colorado Supreme Court to modify the boundaries between several State House districts and State Senate districts “in order to rectify a number of minor discrepancies between maps generated by the Colorado Reapportionment Commission and maps and GIS data utilized by various Colorado counties.” According to the Secretary of State, “these discrepancies have resulted in residential parcels that are split between districts, and in some cases include district boundary lines that are inconsistent with settled political boundary lines.”

In response, the Colorado Supreme Court has ordered that the parties and any interested member of the public file support or opposition briefs by August 31, 2012.

Click here to read the Secretary of State’s petition.

Click here to read the Colorado Supreme Court’s order.

Colorado Supreme Court: Redistricting; Trial Court’s Evaluation of Non-Constitutional Factors Reasonable

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Hall v. Moreno on February 27, 2012.

Congressional Redistricting.

The Supreme Court held that the district court adopted a lawful redistricting scheme in accordance with constitutional criteria and that the district court did not abuse its discretion in balancing the non-constitutional factors as set forth in CRS § 16 2-1-102. The Court further held that this balancing was reasonable and supported by the evidence that was heard during the district court’s thorough, inclusive, and nonpartisan proceedings. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the district court’s order that the Colorado Secretary of State implement the adopted redistricting scheme in future congressional elections.

Summary and full case available here.

Congressional Redistricting: Information for Potential Intervenors or Amici in 11CV3461 (Moreno et al. v. Gessler)

The Colorado State Judicial Branch has posted information regarding lawsuits filed over the drawing of congressional districts within Colorado. Those that would like to participate in this action may do so by filing with the Denver District Court as an Intervenor by Friday, July 29, 2011, at 5:00 pm, or as an Amicus Curiae by Wednesday, August 31 at 5:00 pm.

Under 2 U.S.C. § 2(a), the President of the United States is required every ten years to
transmit to Congress a statement showing the number of persons in each state and the number of congressional representatives to which each state is entitled. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 2-1-100.5 mandates that Colorado be divided into congressional districts pursuant to the official figures of the most recent federal decennial census, and because of the relative continuity in Colorado’s proportional population the people of Colorado will continue to elect seven representatives for the next decade.

On May 10, 2011, lawsuits on behalf of various parties have been filed regarding the drawing of congressional districts within Colorado. These lawsuits are captioned Moreno et al. v. Gessler, Case No.: 11CV3461; and Hall et al. v. Gessler, Case No.: 11CV3463. On June 2, 2011, Judge Hyatt, in Denver District Court, consolidated these two cases under the caption Moreno et al. v. Gessler, Case No.: 11CV3461; consolidated with Case No.: 11CV3463. Individuals or organizations that would like to participate in this action may do so by filing with the Court as an Intervenor by Friday, July 29, 2011, at 5:00 pm, or may file as an Amicus Curiae by Wednesday, August 31 at 5:00 pm, in Denver District Court under the consolidated caption referenced above.

Click here to read the statement from State Judicial.

HB 11-1319: Dividing the State into Seven Congressional Districts Pursuant to Most Recent Federal Census

On May 3, 2011, Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, and Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, introduced HB 11-1319 – Concerning the congressional redistricting of Colorado. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill divides the state into 7 congressional districts pursuant to the most recent federal census. On Thursday, the Congressional Redistricting Committee referred the unamended bill to the full House for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Since this summary, the bill passed its Third Reading in the House, was introduced in the Senate, and was assigned to the State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, which postponed it indefinitely.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.

SB 11-268: Dividing the State into Seven Congressional Districts Pursuant to Most Recent Federal Census

On April 28, 2011, Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, and Reps. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, and Edward Vigil, D-Fort Garland, introduced SB 11-268 – Concerning the congressional redistricting of Colorado. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill divides the state into 7 congressional districts pursuant to the most recent federal census. Assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee; the bill is not listed on the printed calendar.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.

Chief Justice Bender Makes Final Four Appointments to Colorado Reapportionment Commission

On Wednesday, Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael L. Bender named his four appointments to the Colorado Reapportionment Commission, completing the eleven-member commission.

The Reapportionment Commission consists of eleven members, pursuant to the Colorado Constitution. The Senate Majority Leader, House Speaker, Senate Minority Leader, and House Minority Leader have all agreed to serve on the commission or have designated someone else to serve on the commission. The Governor appointed three members to the commission last week. And now, Chief Justice Bender has appointed the final four members.

Chief Justice Bender appointed the following individuals to the commission:

  • Dolores S. Atencio – A Democrat from Denver in the First Congressional District. Atencio is a partner at Garcia Calderon Ruiz, LLP, and practices litigation and employment law.
  • Mario M. Carrera – An unaffiliated voter from Parker in the Sixth Congressional District. Carrera is the vice president and general manager of Entravision Communications Corporation.
  • Robert D. Loevy – A Republican from Colorado Springs in the Fifth Congressional District. Loevy is a professor of political science and American government at Colorado College.
  • Steve Tool – A Republican from Windsor in the Fourth Congressional District.  Tool is a former state legislator where he served on the Joint Budget Committee.

Last week, Governor John Hickenlooper named his three appointments to the commission:

  • Gayle A. Berry - A Republican from Grand Junction in the Third Congressional District. Berry is a former state legislator.
  • Wellington Webb – A Democrat from Denver in the First Congressional District. Webb is a former Mayor of Denver.
  • Arnold Salazar – A Democrat from Alamosa in the Third Congressional District.

The Colorado Reapportionment Commission will work collaboratively to reset the borders of the state’s legislative districts.  This is separate from the redistricting work going on in the General Assembly to redraw the state’s Congressional districts. Additional information on the Colorado Reapportionment Commission is available here.