WASHINGTON — A state court in Kansas on Monday threw out a newly drawn map of congressional districts as an unconstitutional gerrymander, the latest in a series of similar rulings across the country.
The 29th Judicial District Court said that Republicans in the State Legislature had created “intentional and effective” partisan and racial gerrymanders when they divided the state’s major Democratic strongholds among Republican-leaning House districts.
Most notably, the Republican plan divided Kansas City along both racial and partisan lines to endanger the only one of the state’s four House seats held by a Democrat.
District Judge Bill Klapper barred the Legislature from holding elections under the plan and ordered the lawmakers to draw new maps that followed his ruling “as expeditiously as possible.”
“Most Kansans would be appalled to know how the contest” for House seats “has been artificially engineered to give one segment of the political apparatus an unfair and unearned advantage,” he wrote in a stinging 235-page ruling.
The ruling goes directly to the State Supreme Court for review. Four of that court’s seven justices have been appointed by Democratic governors, suggesting a reasonable prospect that it will be upheld.
This article will be updated.