(The Center Square) – The Iowa Supreme Court announced Sept. 14 that it will permit the Iowa legislature to maintain control of the process of redistricting, despite scheduling delays at the U.S. Census Bureau.
Under the Iowa Constitution, the Iowa Supreme Court is granted the responsibility and authority to “cause the state to be apportioned,” if the reapportionment process is not concluded before Sept. 1 and the apportionment does not become law before Sept. 15.
“Pursuant to its constitutional authority to ‘cause the state to be apportioned,’ the supreme court permits the parties identified in Iowa Code chapter 42 (2021) to prepare an apportionment in accord with Iowa Code chapter 42 (2021) by December 1, 2021,” Chief Justice Susan Larson Christensen said in the order.
The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission will gather public comments on the first proposed redistricting plan in three virtual public hearings from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 20, noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 21, and 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 22.
Signups and a method to make online comments on the plan, which are due by 6 p.m. Sept. 22, will be available through links on the Iowa General Assembly’s homepage upon release of the first proposed redistricting plan, according to a legislative document. The Legislative Services Agency will submit the first proposed Congressional and Legislative redistricting plan to the General Assembly by Sept. 16.
“As I have repeatedly stated, the goal of Senate Republicans after the census is to follow by the redistricting process outlined in Iowa Code Chapter 42,” Senate Majority Leader Jack Whiver, R-Ankeny, said in a news release The Center Square received via email. “I appreciate the work of Chief Justice Christensen and the Supreme Court in maintaining Iowa’s nationally recognized redistricting process.”