The New Hampshire Supreme Court Tuesday approved a plan to redraw New Hampshire’s congressional districts. The approved redistricting plan uses the “least change” approach, meaning that only five towns will have their congressional districts changed.
Theresa Norelli, the former House Speaker for New Hampshire, brought a lawsuit alleging that the current congressional map violates the New Hampshire Constitution. Norelli also argued that the current map “malapportioned ” the population of New Hampshire. The lawsuit was filed in response to New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu vetoing two prior plans of redrawing the congressional lines distributing the voter population more evenly among the districts.
Due to lawmakers and the Governor being unable to compromise on how to redraw the district, the court assigned Nathaniel Persily, a Stanford law professor, to redraw the map. In his report, filed last week, Persily said he was “instructed to modify existing congressional district lines ‘only to the extent required to comply with the [court’s] criteria and ‘least change’ standards.”
John Devaney, the attorney for the plaintiffs, urged the Court to adopt the Persily map on Tuesday. He argued that it would prevent any confusion since the candidate filing period would open on Wednesday. Shortly after the arguments concluded, the Court released a unanimous order implementing the map Persily created.
Kelly Burton, President of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), called the decision a “win for the voters.” Burton said:
The New Hampshire Supreme Court’s map is a win for the voters of New Hampshire, who will be able to vote in fair congressional districts in this year’s election. Throughout the redistricting process, Republicans in the New Hampshire General Court arrogantly passed partisan gerrymander after partisan gerrymander, but they were stopped by Governor Sununu’s veto. The map adopted by the New Hampshire Supreme Court today is not only a clear rejection against this brazen attempt at political gerrymandering, it is a victory for the voters of New Hampshire who did not stop fighting for fair maps.
The New Hampshire towns of Jackson, Albany, Sandwich, Campton, and New Hampton are now part of New Hampshire’s 2nd congressional district for the upcoming fall 2022 elections