The plaintiffs, along with their expert legal advisors, have a two-pronged legal strategy. The complaint details the facts showing that the Legislature’s repeal of Prop 4 violated the Utah Constitution and that the Legislature’s congressional map violates numerous provisions of Utah’s constitution because it is an extreme partisan gerrymander. It is our hope that the lawsuit reinstates the original language of Prop 4, replaces the gerrymandered congressional map, and safeguards Utahn’s right to reform their government.
First, the complaint argues that the repeal of Prop 4 was unconstitutional. Our government was formed at our consent, for our benefit, and for our protection—all power is inherent in the people. Our state constitution gives us the right to reform our government and sets out a process to do so. That is exactly what we did with Proposition 4, and the legislature did not have the authority to repeal the will of the voters. (Utah Const. art. I, § 2).
Second, the complaint argues that the congressional map violates our state constitution because it is an extreme partisan gerrymander. The Utah Constitution’s Free Elections Clause, for example, states that all elections shall be free and that no power shall interfere with the "free exercise of the right of suffrage." (Utah Const. art. I, § 17). No matter your zip code, voters should be able to pick their leaders — politicians should not get to pick which voters to listen to and which to ignore. Extreme partisan gerrymandering on the part of the legislature serves political parties and not people, creates distrust in the process, and dilutes our votes, all of which interfere with free elections.
Additionally, the partisan gerrymandered congressional map violates Utahn’s other protected constitutional rights to equal protection under the law, the freedom of association and speech, and the right to vote.