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September 17, 2014

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Damon Political Report

Judge signs off on new congressional districts

Southern Nevada’s plethora of Democratic congressional candidates no longer have an excuse to delay announcing which district they will run for next year.

Carson District Judge James T. Russell today approved new district maps drawn by his three court masters after weeks of public hearings and number crunching.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats voiced an objection to the maps that reject the GOP argument that Hispanic voters were entitled to a majority-minority district under the Voting Rights Act.

Republicans failed to prove that Hispanics live in a compact enough area to draw a majority-minority district in Nevada or that whites vote as a bloc against Hispanic-preferred candidates. Both conditions had to be met in order to invoke the Voting Rights Act, the judge decided.

“I don’t believe the (Voting Rights Act) is even an issue,” Russell said.

Neither side said they are likely to seek a reversal of Russell’s decision in federal court or the Nevada Supreme Court, meaning the congressional districts are likely set for the 2012 election.

“We don’t think there’s much more to do there,” said Mark Hutchison, a lawyer for the Nevada Republican Party.

Five Democrats have announced plans to run for Congress but have waited to declare which districts they will run in until the lines are approved. Under the new maps, Democrats have two safe districts in Clark County, Republicans have a safe Northern Nevada district and U.S. Rep. Joe Heck's district has a slight Democratic advantage.

While the congressional district maps appear to be settled, the possibility still exists for a showdown at the Nevada Supreme Court over the Assembly and Senate district maps.

Lawyers for both Republicans and Democrats said they need to review changes that Russell made to the Senate districts drawn by the masters before deciding whether to appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Republicans had objected to the way the masters drew the Senate districts, arguing they gave an unfair advantage to Democrats in three Southern Nevada districts.

Russell rejected that argument, but said state Sen. Barbara Cegavaske’s district was too irregularly shaped to comply with the law. His changes had little impact on the partisan registration of the three districts Republicans objected to.

The Nevada Supreme Court has scheduled a Nov. 15 hearing on several legal arguments in the redistricting case, including whether the governor had the authority to veto the redistricting maps passed by the Legislature.

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  1. Fantastic! By 2012 my Clark County neighborhood will be rid of a Congressman for Northern Nevada who has never heard of the neighborhood, and doesn't even recognize the names of its main streets. (Hope we don't need the Congressman's help before 2012.)

    Thanks to the Special Masters and courts for "doing the right thing" !

  2. Can we get a map of what the approved lines and districts are?

  3. Just like CynicalObserver, I am ecstatic!

    I got rid of that brain dead Congressman Joe "Pay Per View" Heck by being switched to a newer district (CD1)!

    Good riddance, Joe. You never showed any interest in Eastern Las Vegas anyways.

    But you haven't escaped me. I sent a memo to you a few months back when you asked what was of importance to the legislators in the House of Representatives. To which I replied, "Jobs and the economy! And if you don't know that by now, you have no business being in Congress!"

    What did you do? You participated in voting on not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, BUT SEVEN abortion bills. And every one of them said the same thing as the one before.

    In essence, you ignored me then. But you won't ignore my work when election time comes. I'm gonna spread the word far and wide how useless you were (and still are). Even though I'm not a part of CD3.

    Even though you don't represent me, I will do everything in my power to get you voted out next election by outlining all the horrors I faced with you as my useless, do nothing Congressman. I feel sorry for the constituents you serve now. Because it's guaranteed you won't lift a finger to help them, even in this new district.

    You simply don't listen to your constituents. You only listen to some stupid drum that constantly beats in your head which details how incredibly awesome you; a loud bass drum that drowns out everyone else's voices in your district.

    I can't rest and just let you slide away that easily to victimize others. Time to pay for your incompetence. Time to take your Tea Party beliefs that get us nowhere and head off down the road...out of power. You simply don't belong in the House of Representatives.

  4. Congresswoman Titus barely lost her election precisely because the Democrats CAVED on their true values and removed the popular "public option" from the health care table. Democrats stayed home in droves because their leaders at the top behaved like Republicans! Keeping your children on your insurance until they are 26 if they can't get any is a GOOD thing. Not getting dropped from your coverage because you've become sick is a GOOD thing. Making it illegal for insurance companies to turn you downbecause you have a pre-existing condition is a GOOD thing...and much, much more. The former congresswoman will win this election once she starts speaking loudly in favor of health care, social security and Medicare