Women’s groups join gerrymandering lawsuit

Mar 18, 2022, 9:54 AM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 8:56 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A lawsuit filed against Utah lawmakers claims voters’ constitutional rights have been violated with how congressional districts were drawn and approved last year.

Groups Mormon Women for Ethical Government and League of Women Voters Utah have thrown their weight behind the litigation that involves a bipartisan couple from Millcreek — Victoria and Malcolm Reid.

“The power to enact laws derives from the people, it doesn’t come from the Legislature,” David Reymann, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said.

Redistricting happens once every 10 years. In 2018, voters approved an independent redistricting commission that would draw up recommended boundaries. They presented their research and findings to lawmakers who rejected their maps and decided to draw up their own. Gov. Spencer Cox approved them last fall.

“This is something we have talked about at length and I am not sure there is anymore I can add to the discussion out there,” Cox said at his March press conference.

He said he would offer no further comment on pending litigation.

“As a registered republican I believe the actions of the legislature are unethical and contrary to the values of the republican party,” Victoria Reed said in regards to the legislatures turning down the independently drawn maps.

“Now, I am a resident of congressional District 2. I am a 45 minute walk from voters in Districts 1/2/3/4 but hundreds of miles away from citizens in my own congressional district,” Victoria Reid continued.

The district of her Salt Lake City home reaches the Nevada and Arizona borders.

Laura Lewis is a spokesperson for the Women of Ethical Government. She said the organization joined this lawsuit because it felt it was a way to right a wrong done by lawmakers.

“Equal representation matters. Choices made in Congress can have far-reaching consequences on our health and welfare here at home,” Lewis said.

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Women’s groups join gerrymandering lawsuit