Democrats File to Intervene in Reapportionment Case
TOPEKA – Today, Bill Roy Jr. and Paul Davis jointly filed a motion to intervene in a redistricting lawsuit filed by Robyn Essex against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Essex’s lawsuit argues that the state's existing political boundaries violate her constitutional rights because the boundaries have not been adjusted to account for changes in population since the 2000 Census.
“As a resident in one of the fasting growing areas of Kansas, I am in grave danger of having my vote greatly diluted should no action occur on passing redistricted maps,” said Bill Roy Jr., a resident of the fast-growing City of Lenexa. “By intervening, I hope to protect my rights and the rights of every Kansas voter who has been abandoned by our elected officials. The abdication of responsibility by our state leaders is a direct assault on democracy and harms every Kansas voter. “
Joan Wagnon, Kansas Democratic Party Chair, welcomed the intervention by Roy and Rep. Davis. “Up until now, the maps have been manipulated to disadvantage Democrats and moderate Republicans - no wonder no agreement was reached,” Wagnon said. “That is why the action taken today by Minority Leader Davis and Mr. Roy is necessary. This action ensures all Kansans are represented throughout this
critical process and leaves open the possibility that candidates have sufficient time to present voters with viable options. ”
Wagnon continued: “The power grab by Governor Brownback and Speaker O’Neal almost guarantees that the Legislature will fail to do its constitutional duty. It is now clear that by bringing Washington-style politics to our state, Governor Brownback has also brought Washington gridlock to the Kansas Legislature.”
“As a state legislator, it is my duty to make sure the voters of Kansas have fair districts and meaningful elections,” said Representative Paul Davis, Lawrence-D and ranking member of the Special Committee on Redistricting. “It is my strong preference that the Legislature completes the work Kansas voters elected us to do. If that is not possible, I will continue to work on redistricting through the court process, offering solutions that create fair districts and give candidates sufficient time to get their message to voters.”
Attorneys Larry Gates and Steve Smith filed the motion on behalf of Roy Jr. and Davis in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.