Lawyers for Colorado’s congressional independent constituency commissions filed for judicial review with the Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Lawyers have included a request for the court to establish a revised timeline under Article V of the Colorado Constitution, Section 44.5 (1). The petition says that due to census delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be “difficult for commissions to use both up-to-date census data and to submit plans within the timeframe prescribed by the Constitution ”.
The Commission asked the court to adjust its September 1 deadline for approving a final plan and proposed a new timeline.
The proposed schedule would allow the commissions to complete public hearings on the existing preliminary plan in August. Hearings are already underway and are being held jointly between the two committees.
The United States Census Bureau is expected to release final census data on August 16. , if the Commission so requires. Staff anticipate that it will take 14 days to complete the data reformatting process.
The rest of the requested schedule is as follows:
- September 15: Non-partisan staff completes and presents staff foreground using final processed and tabulated census data.
- September 16: Effective this date, the Commission holds an additional hearing in each existing congressional district to allow the public to participate in a map drawn using final census data. Once these additional hearings are completed, the Commission could approve a final plan to be submitted to the Court at any time.
- September 30: Only if necessary, non-partisan staff complete and present a second staff plan.
- October 15: Only if necessary, non-partisan staff complete and present the third staff plan.
- October 22: This is the last date the Commission expects to approve a final plan. It is possible that a final plan will be approved weeks earlier, perhaps in mid-September. When a final plan is approved, non-partisan staff would prepare the plan for submission to this Court. Staff estimate that the preparation of the plan for submission to the Court would take six days.
- October 28: This is the last date on which non-partisan staff would finish preparing the final plan and submit the final plan to this Court for judicial review. In the unlikely event that the Commission does not approve a final plan, this is the date on which the third personnel plan would be submitted to the Court for judicial review.
In its application, the Commission asked the tribunal to adopt the new timetable, to clarify the respect of the September 1 deadline and to allow another condensed timetable, or to provide the Commission with further guidance on calendar.
For more information on Colorado Independent Redistricting Commissions, please visit redistricting.colorado.gov.