N.J. judge tosses Bayshore Tea Party lawsuit challenging new state legislative district map | State | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

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N.J. judge tosses Bayshore Tea Party lawsuit challenging new state legislative district map

gavelgold042911_optA lawsuit brought by the Bayshore Tea Party that challenged the new state legislative district map was tossed out of state Superior Court on Wednesday.

Judge Linda Feinberg dismissed the 10-count complaint that the map, created in April by a bipartisan commission of Democrats and Republicans, violates the federal and state constitutions.

The Tea Party argued that the map was unconstitutional because South Jersey districts tend to have more residents than North Jersey districts and that there was no representation of independent or third-party voters on the commission.

The Tea Party also argued that counties were split much more than necessary, and that Jersey City and Newark's clout was diluted largely because they would each go from three to two legislative districts.

Feinberg found the Tea Party’s method of calculating the population of districts was flawed. "Quite simply, the formula is mathematically incorrect," the judge held.

On the issue of splitting counties, Feinberg noted that the state Supreme Court has held that splitting counties is no longer a basis to invalidate a map.

The 11-member commission voted 6-5 to accept the Democrats' map over the Republicans.

"We commend the court's decision to dismiss the Tea Party's litigation over the current map,” Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the state Democratic chairman, said. “Not a single count in the Tea Party's complaint was found to have merit and rightfully so.

“The map adopted during Legislative apportionment is fair, constitutional, and the product of unprecedented public input.” Wisniewski said. “We are proud of the opportunities provided for the public to have their voice heard during the process.”



 

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