On December 30, 2021 the Republican members of the New Jersey Redistricting Commission filed a lawsuit against the Redistricting Commission, its independent member, and its Democratic members challenging the Commission's adopted congressional redistricting plan as violating the U.S. and New Jersey Constitutions. Plaintiffs claims arose out of the independent Commissioner's tie-breaking decision to adopt the Democratic Commissioners' proposed congressional redistricting plan on the basis that "fairness" required him to do so because the Republicans' map was selected during the last redistricting cycle. The plaintiffs first asserted this decision was subject to judicial review and should be set aside as an "arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable vote and reasoning." Additionally, they alleged this decision adopting a congressional map that would "classify and bind" New Jersey voters for the next ten years on the basis of such an unreasonable and unsupported rationale also violated the New Jersey Constitution and U.S. Constitution's equal protection and due process guarantees. The plaintiffs sought a court order vacating the Commission's adoption of the congressional plan, an order remanding the congressional redistricting process to the Commission for further proceedings, and an order enjoining the Secretary of State from using the adopted plan in any future elections.
On January 4, 2022 the Court issued an order requesting the independent tie-breaking member provide "a more detailed statement of reasons" for his map decision to the Court and the parties by January 11, 2022. The tie-breaker's statement was filed on January 11 and, on the same day, the Court issued an order directing the Democratic Party delegation to file a supplemental brief addressing the contents of the statement by January 14, 2022, with the Republican Party delegation's answering brief due January 21.
On February 3, 2022 the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an order dismissing the plaintiffs' complaint for failing to state a claim. The Court explained its authority over challenges to redistricting plans is limited to reviewing whether the plan itself is unlawful or the result of invidious discrimination, neither of which the plaintiffs alleged here.
New Jersey Supreme Court - No. 086587
- Complaint in Lieu of Prerogative Writs - 12/30/21
- Order - 1/4/22
- Amended Complaint - 1/5/22
- Letter Response from the Chairperson of the Redistricting Commission - 1/11/22
- Order - 1/11/22
- Brief and Appendix on Behalf of Plaintiff Republican Delegation in Support of Requested Relief and in Opposition to Defendant Democratic Delegation's Motion to Dismiss - 1/14/22
- Order Dismissing Complaint - 2/3/22