12-02-2021  1:33 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Associated Press
Published: 22 November 2021

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court on Monday dismissed two challenges filed by Republicans to new state legislative districts approved by the Legislature in September.

The lawmakers passed new legislative and congressional boundaries that included a new, sixth U.S. House seat. The ruling Monday was specifically about the 90 state legislative districts that will likely enable Democrats to continue to hold majorities in the House and Senate, but will not guarantee the party the three-fifths supermajorities it currently holds.

Failed attempt

Republicans throughout the redistricting process accused Democrats of gerrymandering. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that in petitions challenging the maps, Republicans alleged that Democratic lawmakers drew districts for partisan political gain and to help incumbents.

In its ruling the Supreme Court said the GOP failed to show that the new districts violated state law.

The contentious redistricting year was marked by a broken power-sharing deal.

During the 2021 legislative session, House Democrats gave up a powerful advantage. In exchange for the Republicans agreeing to stop blocking bills with delay tactics, House Speaker Tina Kotek agreed to share redistricting power with the GOP — essentially granting veto power to the minority party over what the six congressional districts and the state’s 90 legislative districts will look like.

But Kotek later voided that power-sharing deal, saying she was “disappointed that after many months of work, House Republicans did not engage constructively despite many attempts to address their concerns.”

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