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AG Derek Schmidt files petition with Kansas Supreme Court for validity of state legislative maps

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Posted at 12:31 PM, Apr 25, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed a petition Monday with the Kansas Supreme Court asking for the approval of the state legislative district maps.

The court now has 30 days to make a decision on the validity of the new district boundaries.

"The new legislative district boundaries appear to satisfy all legal requirements previously established by state constitutional, statutory or common law," Schmidt said in a release. "I am asking the Kansas Supreme Court to approve the new district boundaries as quickly as possible so candidate filing for this year's legislative elections can proceed without unnecessary disruption or delay."

The release from Schmidt's office recognized the legal challenges to the congressional district map, known as Ad Astra 2.

"In addition to handling the legislative maps, Schmidt’s office has been defending against separate legal challenges brought by parties dissatisfied with the recently enacted new boundaries for the four congressional districts," the release said. "The legal procedures for judicial review of state legislative redistricting differs significantly from the procedure for review of congressional redistricting because the Kansas constitutional procedure Schmidt initiated today applies only to reapportionment of the state house of representatives and state senate, not to reapportionment of congressional districts."

The Kansas Senate approved the Ad Astra 2 map, which divides Wyandotte County along Interstate 70, earlier this year. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the map in February citing the division of Wyandotte County as a core reason for her veto. The Kansas Senate overrode her veto four days later.

Multiple lawsuits rising out of Wyandotte County were consolidated into the one case. Wyandotte County District Court Judge Bill Klapper ruled that the map was unconstitutional because of the dilution of minority voting rights in the county.

Following the appeal, the Kansas Supreme Court outlined its timeline to determine the validity of the congressional district boundaries. The court has a 30 day time limit to make the decision.

The court is accepting written statements from any interested person until May 9. Statements can be submitted by mail or email.