Court refuses to dismiss suits alleging gerrymandering

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday refused to dismiss three lawsuits that challenge new Republican-drawn congressional redistricting maps.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt made the request, arguing that the state court system does not have jurisdiction to decide disputes over redistricting for federal offices.

All three of the suits allege that the new maps impermissibly gerrymandered in violation of the Kansas Constitution.

Two of the lawsuits were filed in Wyandotte County District Court in the Kansas City area, on behalf of aggrieved voters. They raise concerns that the new maps would cost U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, the state’s only Democrat in Congress, some of the territory in her Kansas City-area district that she carries by wide margins in elections.

The third lawsuit was filed in Douglas County District Court. The focus of that suit is that the maps move Lawrence from the 2nd District of northeast Kansas into the sprawling 1st District of central and western Kansas with conservative Republican communities hours away by car.

Republican lawmakers have dismissed allegations of gerrymandering.