Rebuffed by the California Supreme Court, a former Republican congressman and four others filed suit this week in federal court to overturn the state's newly drawn congressional maps.
The lawsuit by Mariposa Republican George Radanovich, who left Congress in January, marks the latest of numerous attacks by GOP interests against districts drawn for the first time by an independent citizens commission.
Radanovich's federal suit contends that the panel violated federal voting-rights law and the U.S. Constitution by seeking to protect three African American incumbents in the drawing of three Los Angeles congressional districts.
Redistricting Commissioner Stan Forbes, the current rotating chairman, defended maps drawn by the 14-member panel created by voter passage of Proposition 11 in 2008. The commission consists of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four voters not affiliated with either party.
"The commission carefully considered the drawing of each districts and our decisions were fully briefed by our Voting Rights Act counsel," Forbes said. "We expect our maps, once again, to withstand any legal challenges."
U.S. Reps. Karen Bass, Maxine Waters and Laura Richardson, all Democrats, are the incumbents whose districts are the lawsuit's focus.