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The commission that drew new political districts for California this year has asked the California Supreme Court to toss out lawsuits challenging lines for Congress and the state Senate.

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission's legal response said its maps complied with constitutional requirements and that the lawsuits rely "exclusively on the unsupported factual speculation and legal conclusions of a single, shared 'expert' -- whose preferences they would substitute for the Commission's public process, measured deliberations, and careful exercise of its constitutional mandate."

The commission's lawyers also moved to strike a declaration supporting the lawsuits and filed by Tony Quinn, a GOP consultant and co-author of "The Target Book" guide to California congressional and legislative districts and races, who said the maps were insufficient.

Quinn's opinions, the commission's lawyers responded, in part, are "irrelevant because they consider expressly the effect of redistricting on incumbents and other political candidates, a criterion that the California Constitution prohibited the Commission from considering in its line-drawing process."

The challengeto the congressional maps was filed by former Republican Rep. George Radanovich of Mariposa, who argued that the panel failed to meet its obligation under the federal Voting Rights Act. The suit contends that lines for three districts in Los Angeles were drawn to protect three incumbents in violation of federal law and the state constitution. That move, the lawsuit contends, failed to ensure that one or two of those congressional districts had a majority of African American voters and denied Latino voters an opportunity for one or two Latino-majority districts.

The lawsuit challenging the Senate districts, contends they dilute voting power of Latinos, fail to comply with constitutional requirements for compactness, contiguity, communities of interest, and existing county boundary lines and unnecessarily split up San Bernardino and Sacramento counties into multiple districts.

To see a point-by-point refutation of the lawsuits' claims, look here to read the commission's response.



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