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High Court Rejects GOP Challenge to State Senate Maps

Aired 1/27/12 on KPBS News.

The California Supreme Court says the State Senate maps drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission will be used in this year’s elections – even if a Republican referendum challenging those maps qualifies for the November ballot.

It's widely seen as a defeat for Republicans. They're worried the Commission's maps could let Democrats in the State Senate pick up a two-thirds super majority - enough to raise taxes. So after turning in signatures for a voter referendum challenging those maps, they asked the California Supreme Court to pick different maps for the 2012 election cycle. But the Court said no - use the Commission's maps this year no matter what.

Redistricting Commissioner Stan Forbes said he was "very pleased" with decision. "This marks the fourth time now that the court has upheld the Commission," said Forbes. "So to me, our track record is pretty good."

GOP State Senator Mimi Walters called the ruling "short-sighted and disrespectful" to Californians who signed referendum petitions hoping for "fair" districts. We'll find out if that referendum qualifies in the next few weeks. If it does, voters can still overturn the Senate maps this fall.

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