NH Supreme Court Approves New Congressional Map

Most New Hampshire voters will see no changes to their current congressional districts this fall, after the state’s high court approved a new map that makes only minor changes to existing district lines.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously approved a new map after hearing oral arguments in a redistricting case Tuesday morning, less than a day before the candidate filing window opens for this fall’s election. .

Read more about the court’s involvement in the redistricting process here.

The court-approved map uses a “least change” approach, moving just five cities — Jackson, Albany, Sandwich, Campton and New Hampton — from the 1st District to the 2nd District in order to achieve a balanced population.

The court’s involvement in the redistricting process comes amid a standoff between Gov. Chris Sununu and the legislature over the state’s congressional district plan. Sununu vetoed two maps approved by Republican lawmakers last week. The court stepped in to make sure the New Hampshire congressional map is constitutionally compliant, based on updated population numbers from the 2020 census.

During oral argument on Tuesday morning, John Devaney, a lawyer representing parties challenging the current maps, urged the court to “adopt a map today” to avoid confusion around the nominations period, which is expected to s extend from June 1 to June 10. .

About two hours after arguments concluded, the court issued a unanimous order implementing a map drawn by court-appointed Stanford Law School professor Nathaniel Persily.

Devaney noted that “the special master made it clear that he did not consider political data or partisan factors in drawing the districts.”

Maps passed by Republican lawmakers this session would have significantly changed districts and given their party’s candidates a boost in the 1st District. One of those maps would have moved Manchester and other communities into the 2nd District, putting the two Democratic incumbents – MP Annie Kuster and Congressman Chris Pappas – in the same district.

Sununu rejected this card, as well as a previous proposal, saying they weren’t fair.

Kuster has won five consecutive elections in the 2nd District, which covers the western part of the state, as well as the North Country, Concord and Nashua.

The 1st District, which includes Manchester and the southeastern part of the state, has been competitive for much of the past two decades, changing hands frequently between the two sides. Pappas has won the previous two races and is seeking a third term.

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