Saturday, April 23, 2011

NJ Tea Party sues over Redistricting Plan

Thursday, the group filed a lawsuit contending the "gerrymandered" map favors Democrats, is unconstitutional and "will lock in one-party control of the New Jersey Legislature for the next decade."

The map was chosen April 3 by an 11-member commission composed of five Democrats, five Republicans and one independent tiebreaker, Alan Rosenthal. Rosenthal cast his vote with the Democrats proposal, giving them a victory in one of the most important political fights of the decade.

Attorney Russell Cote, a member of the tea party group, argued the new map is unconstitutional because South Jersey districts tend to have more residents than North Jersey districts and nobody on the commission represented unaffiliated and third-party voters. He also said counties are split many more times than necessary, and Newark's and Jersey City's clout was diluted because they would each go from three legislative districts to two.

The tea party group also charged the districts were shaped with the sole aim of protecting incumbents.