Friday, May 27, 2022


High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.


Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.


High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

OR Redistricting Maps Face Multiple Court Challenges


Monday, November 8, 2021   

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon lawmakers may have finished redistricting, but legal challenges abound for the maps they've drawn, both at the congressional and state level.

At the congressional level, where Oregon added one seat for a total of six in the U.S. House, Republicans accuse the approved plan of being "a clear, egregious partisan gerrymander."

Norman Turrill, Action Committee governance coordinator with the League of Women Voters of Oregon, said the state's redistricting rules have a set of criteria, such as using geographic barriers and not dividing communities of common interest.

But he predicted it'll be tough to overturn maps based on these.

"The criteria only say that they have to be considered, except for equal population," said Turrill. "And the Supreme Court has previously said that it's enough that they have considered all the criteria, not necessarily followed any particular criteria."

A panel of judges has until November 24 to make a final decision in the case.

At the legislative level, Lane County residents have filed a lawsuit in the Oregon Supreme Court, with support from a Democratic legislator in the area. But Turrill said he believes that suit faces some of the same barriers to success as the congressional challenge.

Another lawsuit filed at the end of October challenges, in part, the fact that hearings on legislative maps focused only on plans submitted by Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

Turrill, who is also chair of the group People Not Politicians, supports a constitutional amendment that could change this.

Supporters are collecting signatures for an initiative to create a redistricting commission made up of citizens rather than legislators. Turrill said he believes citizens would do a better job.

"The voters actually lose when the Legislature gerrymanders the districts, because the districts tend to be uncompetitive," said Turrill. "And when they're uncompetitive, the voters can't change their representation and hold their elected officials accountable."

A handful of states have redistricting commissions made up of members who aren't politicians. In 2008, California voters approved a measure that created an independent commission comprised of 14 citizens.

get more stories like this via email
Florida Democrats want to expand the state's "red flag" law, to allow family members to initiate confiscating weapons. Currently, only law enforcement can take guns away from those who pose a danger to themselves and others. (jarmoluk/Pixabay)

Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …


This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …

Aside from health risks, environmental officials say harmful algae blooms pose a threat to Iowa's water recreation industry. When beaches and other access points are temporarily shut down, it discourages plans for boating or swimming. (Adobe Stock)


Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Gas prices are higher on average in western Montana than they are in eastern Montana. (Vinícius Bacarin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …


New York state lawmakers are weighing two bills which would grant utilities more vertical market power, a move proponents argued will help the state …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021