Critics of California's new congressional districts are taking their case against the political maps to federal court.
Former GOP Rep. George Radanovich and four other plaintiffs announced today that they will file a lawsuit in federal district court arguing that the lines drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission violate the Federal Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment.
The lawsuit, which will likely be filed later this week in Southern California, will argue that California's 14-member commission violated the law by intentionally not creating majority African-American and Latino congressional districts in Los Angeles County when it drafted the state's 53 congressional districts, according to a release.
"The California Redistricting Commission chose to put politics above the law when they drew the new congressional lines," Radanovich said in a statement. "We are confident the Court will agree with us to right this wrong and order new lines to be drawn."
The new congressional maps, drafted as part of the decennial redistricting process, have come under fire from conservatives who say they give an edge to Democrats.
The federal lawsuit follows a challenge to the congressional maps filed in the California Supreme Court. The court rejected that lawsuit, which was filed by Radanovich, last month. Plaintiffs said in their release that they were first required to seek recourse in the state court but always intended to later file suit in federal court.
Stan Forbes, current chairman of the redistricting panel, said that decision "made it clear that the Commission's maps were in compliance with the law including the Federal Voting Rights Act."
"The Commission carefully considered the drawing of each district and our decisions were fully briefed by our Voting Rights Act counsel," Forbes said in a statement. "We expect our maps, once again, to withstand any legal challenges. It is unfortunate that this baseless litigation is a waste of precious taxpayer dollars."