Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission Files Petition For Updated Schedule With Colorado Supreme Court
On July 13th, attorneys for the Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission filed a petition for judicial review with the Colorado Supreme Court. Attorneys included a request for the court to establish a revised schedule under Colorado Constitution Article V, Section 44.5(1).
The petition states that due to census delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be “difficult for the commissions to both make use of the up-to-date census data and submit plans within the constitutionally mandated timelines.”
The Commission requests the court adjust its September 1 deadline for approval of a final plan and proposes the following schedule:
- August: The Commission completes public hearings on the existing preliminary plan. These hearings are already underway and being held jointly between the two commissions.
- August 16: The United States Census Bureau releases final Decennial Census data in legacy format. Non-partisan staff immediately begins processing and tabulating that data for use in staff plans (including reassigning the residence of incarcerated individuals from their place of incarceration to their former residence, if required by the Commission). Staff anticipates requiring 14 days to complete the process of reformatting the legacy data.
- September 15: Non-partisan staff completes and presents the first staff plan using processed and tabulated final census data.
- September 16: Starting on this date, the Commission holds an additional hearing in each existing Congressional district to allow public input on a map drawn using final census data. Once these additional hearings are complete, the Commission could approve a final plan for submission to this Court at any time.
- September 30: Only if necessary, non-partisan staff completes and presents a second staff plan.
- October 15: Only if necessary, non-partisan staff completes and presents third staff plan.
- October 22: This is the latest date the Commission anticipates it would approve a final plan. It is possible a final plan would be approved weeks earlier, perhaps by mid-September. When a final plan is approved, the non-partisan staff would prepare the plan for submission to this Court. The staff estimates that preparation of the plan for submission to this Court would require six days.
- October 28: This is the latest date non-partisan staff would finish preparing the final plan and would submit the final plan to this Court for judicial review. In the unlikely event the Commission does not approve a final plan, this is the date by which the staff’s third plan would be submitted to this Court for judicial review.
This schedule has been significantly condensed compared to the schedule of a normal redistricting year but provides a robust redistricting process.
In its petition, the Commission asked the court to adopt the above schedule, clarify adherence to the September 1 deadline and allow a further condensed schedule, or provide the Commission with other scheduling guidance.
For more information about the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commissions, please visit redistricting.colorado.gov.