|2010-cycle districts:||Congress, State Senate, State House « NEW|
|2000-cycle districts:||Congress, State Senate, State House|
|Primary governing law:||Colo. Const. art. V, §§ 45-48
Congress: The legislature adjourned without passing a map, which sent the process to litigation. On November 10, the court adopted maps proposed by the Moreno plaintiffs -- aligned with the interest of Colorado Democrats, affirmed by the state Supreme Court on December 5.
State leg.: On July 19, the politician commission preliminarily approved state legislative plans, and then took public comment. The commission passed final districts on September 19, but the Colorado Supreme Court found them insufficiently attuned to county boundaries, and returned the plan to the commission for re-drafting. On November 29, the commission approved new state legislative plans, which were approved by the state Supreme Court on December 12.
Redistricting political control:
Governor State Senate State House Congressional lines D 20 D, 15 R 32 D, 33 R State legislative lines Politician commission with partisan balance determined by the chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court 2000 cong. lines R 18 D, 17 R 28 D, 37 R 2000 state lines Politician commission with partisan balance determined by the chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court
Colorado's congressional lines are drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto. A joint legislative committee was convened to attempt congressional redistricting, but that committee process has apparently been forsaken.
Colorado's state legislative lines are drawn by an eleven-member politician commission, in place since 1974. Each of the four legislative leaders (majority and minority leader in each legislative house) may choose one commissioner, the Governor chooses three, and the chief Justice of the state Supreme Court chooses four. The current members of the commission are listed here, with separate lists of those chosen by the legislative leadership, the Governor, and the Chief Justice.
No more than four commissioners may be members of the legislature, no more than 6 may be registered with the same political party, and no more than four may live in the same congressional district; at least one commissioner must be from each congressional district, including at least one commissioner living west of the continental divide. [Colo. Const. art. V, § 48]
Every state legislative plan passed by Colorado's commission is automatically sent to the Colorado Supreme Court for review; if the plan is unlawful, the Court will allow the commission another opportunity to redraw the lines. [Colo. Const. art. V, § 48(e)]
Census data were delivered to Colorado on February 23, 2011.
Colorado state law does not impose a particular deadline for drawing congressional lines, though candidates must file for congressional primary elections by April 13, 2012. [Colo. Rev. Stat. § 1-4-801(5)] The regular legislative session began on January 12, 2011, and ended May 11, 2011.
Colorado state law requires that its commission draw initial proposals for state legislative lines by September 5, 2011. The commission must approve final maps by October 7, 2011. [Colo. Const. art. V, § 48(e); State of Colorado, Redistricting and Reapportionment]
Colorado prohibits redrawing congressional district lines mid-decade, before the next Census. The state constitution contains similar language with respect to state legislative lines, which may be similarly interpreted. [People ex rel. Salazar v. Davidson, 79 P.3d 1221 (Colo. 2003)]
- Public input
Hearings for the congressional redistricting process were held in early 2011; hearing materials are archived here.
Under Colorado's Open Meetings Law, all commission, committee, and floor sessions to consider redistricting plans are open to the public, and members of the public may provide testimony at hearings, or by submitting written testimony.
Like all states, Colorado must comply with constitutional equal population requirements; for its state legislative lines, Colorado has further set a maximum five percent deviation between the largest and smallest districts. [Colo. Const. art. V, § 46]
Colorado must also, like all states, abide by section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
For its state legislative lines, the Colorado constitution further requires that districts be contiguous, and that they be as compact as possible based on their total perimeter. To the extent possible, districts must also preserve the integrity of counties, cities, towns, and -- where doing so does not conflict with other goals -- communities of interest. [Colo. Const. art. V, §§ 46-47; In re Reapportionment of Colo. General Assembly, 46 P.3d 1083 (Colo. 2002); In re Reapportionment of Colo. General Assembly, 45 P.3d 1237 (Colo. 2002); In re Colo. General Assembly, 828 P.2d 185 (Colo. 1992)]
- 2010 cycle cases
In re Reapportionment of the Colorado General Assembly, No. 2011SA282 (Colo. Sup. Ct.): judicial review (mandatory under state law) of state legislative districts passed by the commission.
- Submission by commission (Oct. 3), memo in support (Oct. 13), reply (Oct. 31).
- Statements in support of plan
- Colorado Latino Forum (Oct. 13), reply (Oct. 31).
- Statements opposed to plan (Oct. 24)
- Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Elbert County, Garfield County, Jefferson County
- Las Animas County, Montezuma County, Weld County, Town of Superior
- Colo. Citizens for Fair Representation, Sw. Colo. Citizens for a Constitutional Map.
- Opinion rejecting plan and returning map to commission (Nov. 15).
- New plan submitted by commission (Dec. 5), memo in support (Dec. 8).
- Statements in support of plan (Dec. 7-8).
- Garfield County, Clean Water Action, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund
- NARAL Pro-Choice Colo., New Era Colorado, Planned Parenthood Votes Colo.
- Michael Cerbo, Jennie Sanchez
- Statements opposed to plan (Dec. 7-8).
- Colo. Reapportionment Commissioners Berry et al.
- Delta County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Grand County, Gunnison County
- Washington County, Town of Superior et al., Club 20 et al.
- Colo. Citizens for Fair Representation (and sur-reply), J.M. Fay.
- Opinion approving resubmitted plan (Dec. 12).
The latest: On November 15, the Colorado Supreme Court rejected the commission's proposed plan as insufficiently attentive to county boundaries, and returned the maps to the commission for re-drafting. On November 29, the commission approved new state legislative plans, which were approved by the state Supreme Court on December 12.
Moreno v. Gessler, No. 11cv3461 & 11cv3463 (Denver Dist. Ct.) & No. 2011SC842 (Colo. Sup. Ct.): a challenge in state court to the unequal population of current congressional districts, based on legislative inability to agree on district lines within the 2011 legislative session.
- Trial court
- Complaint (May 10, 2011).
- Intervenors Colo. Latino Forum et al. complaint (July 22).
- Moreno plaintiffs' proposed map, adopted by court Nov. 10.
- Decision adopting Moreno Plaintiffs' proposed map. (Nov. 10).
- State supreme court
- Order affirming trial court decision (Dec. 5) and accompanying opinion (Feb. 27).
The latest: After considering various proposals, the trial court adopted maps proposed by the Moreno plaintiffs -- aligned with the interest of Colorado Democrats -- on November 10. On December 5, the state Supreme Court unanimously affirmed.
- 2000 cycle
In the 2000 redistricting cycle, Colorado's legislature failed to enact a congressional plan; on January 25, 2002, a state court enacted a map based largely on the Republican leadership's plan, which was then approved by the state Supreme Court. The legislature attempted to enact a subsequent congressional plan, but this plan was struck down by the state Supreme Court, on the grounds that the state constitution allows only one opportunity per decade, successful or unsuccessful, to redraw district lines. [People ex rel. Salazar v. Davidson , 79 P.3d 1221 (Colo. 2003); Beauprez v. Avalos, 42 P.3d 642 (Colo. 2002)]
For state legislative districts, the state's commission enacted a plan struck down by the state Supreme Court, largely on equal population and county integrity grounds. The commission redrew state legislative plans on February 7, 2002, and those plans were approved by the state Supreme Court. [In re Reapportionment of Colo. General Assembly, 46 P.3d 1083 (Colo. 2002); In re Reapportionment of Colo. General Assembly, 45 P.3d 1237 (Colo. 2002)]
Hall v. Gessler, No. 11cv3463 (Denver Dist. Ct.): a challenge to the unequal population of current congressional districts, based on legislative inability to agree on district lines within the 2011 legislative session.
- Complaint (May 10, 2011).
The latest: This case was consolidated with Moreno v. Gessler, above.