Voters opposed to a 2015 redistricting plan have filed a second federal lawsuit claiming Georgia illegally “gerrymandered” two state House districts by moving minority voters out of areas represented by vulnerable white Republican lawmakers. The suit, filed Tuesday by 11 residents who live in and around those districts in metro Atlanta, said that the boundary lines of the seats held by state Reps. Joyce Chandler, R-Grayson, and Brian Strickland, R-McDonough, were redrawn two years ago to increase the percentage of white voters in those districts to protect both incumbents. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who administers elections, is named as the sole defendant. A spokesman for Kemp said his office had not yet seen the suit. A spokesman for House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, declined comment.
The suit is being sponsored by the National Redistricting Foundation, an organization led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who served in the Obama Administration, and also has the support of Atlanta’s Democratic U.S. Rep. John Lewis.
Chandler’s District 105 seat in Gwinnett County and Strickland’s District 111 in Henry County have been two of the most competitive in the Republican-led, 180-member House. Both district boundaries were changed in 2015 when lawmakers passed House Bill 566, which also adjusted the lines of 15 other districts.
House members who authored the legislation have long claimed they had no ill intent in redrawing the districts, saying that the overall changes in the bill had been requested by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Full Article: Second lawsuit filed over Georgia redistricting bill.