At issue: A map known as Ad Astra 2 splits the Kansas City metro area along Interstate 70, separating the heavily Democratic northern part of Wyandotte County from Johnson County and the 3rd District, and places Lawrence into the same 1st District as rural counties that border Colorado.
Jowei Chen, a political science professor at the University of Michigan, had a computer draw 1,000 versions of Kansas congressional maps, using non-partisan and traditional guidelines. The map Kansas lawmakers passed this year had more Republican districts than 98.8% of them.
Honest arbiters can disagree on subjects like funding public schools. Recent efforts here and nationwide to suppress the vote of political opponents, however, don’t fall under the benign category of policy difference.
The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday rejected Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s request to dismiss lawsuits filed in Wyandotte and Douglas counties over redrawn congressional districts. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Loud Light filed separate lawsuits to stop the gerrymandered map.
The census defines a prisoner’s home address as the prison they are held at, but there is some effort to change that.
“We’re obviously happy with this ruling,” said ACLU of Kansas Executive Director Micah Kubic. “Still, there’s a lot of work yet ahead of us in defending democracy and protecting the rights of Kansans, especially the voters of Wyandotte County, Johnson County, and Lawrence.”