On February 18, 2022 Kansas's Secretary of State and Wyandotte County's Election Commissioner filed a petition with the Kansas Supreme Court seeking the dismissal of two redistricting lawsuits then-pending in Kansas district courts, Rivera v. Schwab and Alonzo v. Schwab, which challenge the state's enacted congressional plan as a partisan gerrymander that violates the Kansas Constitution. The petitioners asserted the district courts lack jurisdiction to hear congressional redistricting challenges because neither the U.S. Constitution nor Kansas law provides state courts with a role in the congressional redistricting process. Furthermore, petitioners argued even if state courts could determine the validity of congressional redistricting plans, no valid cause of action exists under the Kansas Constitution to support those plaintiffs' partisan gerrymandering claims. They sought a court order staying the district court proceedings and requiring the judges in those cases to dismiss the actions.

On March 4, 2022 the Kansas Supreme Court issued its opinion denying the petitioners' requests on the grounds their claims did not qualify for mandamus or quo warranto relief. The Court explained the district courts did not have a mandatory, nondiscretionary duty to dismiss the redistricting petitions and therefore mandamus was not proper, and in ruling on the petitions, even if later decided to be incorrect, the courts would also not be exercising unlawful authority and therefore quo warranto was not proper. The Court made clear that in so ruling, it did not reach or consider the merits of the underlying partisan gerrymandering claims.

Related Cases: Rivera v. Schwab; Alonzo v. Schwab


Kansas Supreme Court - No. 124849