Independent Redistricting Commissions Respond to Colorado Supreme Court Decision
June 1, 2021 – Today the Colorado Supreme Court released its decision No. 21SA146, In re Interrogatories on Senate Bill 21-247 Submitted by the Colorado General Assembly. The Colorado Independent Redistricting Commissions appreciate the court’s acknowledgement of their work so far and its recognition of their independent authority.
The Colorado Supreme Court held that the commissions, not the General Assembly, have the authority to determine the data necessary for staff to create preliminary and staff plans and for the commissions to begin conducting public hearings on the preliminary plans. This allows the commissions to proceed in the manner they have established, including the following timeline:
- June 23, 2021 – Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission receives preliminary congressional map.
- June 28, 2021 – Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission receives preliminary state senate and state house maps.
- July 7-August 30, 2021 – commissions hold joint public hearings on the preliminary maps throughout the state.
- August 16, 2021 – staff receives PL 94-171 redistricting data from the Census Bureau in legacy format and begins preparing the data and the staff maps.
- September 2021 – commissions hold additional public hearings on staff maps using final census data.
- December 2021 – redistricting is completed as required by the state constitution.
“The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed that the independent commissions are just that– independent,” said Carlos Perez, chair of the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission and an unaffiliated voter from Colorado Springs. “The overwhelming support for Amendments Y and Z in 2018 unequivocally demonstrated that the voters are highly skeptical that a partisan process will yield fair maps. For our commission to earn the trust and confidence of the public in this important process of redistricting, we need to maintain a professional yet arms-length relationship with the General Assembly. I am pleased with the court’s decision.”
Carly Hare, chair of the Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission and an unaffiliated voter from Firestone, said, “The Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission is relieved that the Colorado Supreme Court decision upheld the independence of this Commission as the voters intended. We are grateful that all the governing bodies of the state are invested in the outcome of our process and look forward to hearing from more residents of the state on redistricting in the upcoming public hearings. We will continue to endeavor on a process that is fair, just, and equitable.”