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Judge won't dismiss redistricting lawsuit

Posted at 5:25 PM, Oct 24, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY — A judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the Utah State Legislature's redistricting process.

In a ruling issued late Monday and obtained by FOX 13 News, 3rd District Court Judge Dianna Gibson rejected requests by the state to dismiss the lawsuit and remove legislative leaders from being sued. The judge did throw out one allegation — that the legislature improperly overrode Proposition 4, the citizen ballot initiative that created an independent redistricting commission.

"We have been hoping for this outcome and we're very happy the judge wants to move forward with the lawsuit," Katharine Biele, the president of the League of Women Voters of Utah, told FOX 13 News on Monday night.

The League of Women Voters of Utah and Mormon Women for Ethical Government were among those suing, alleging Utah's redistricting for federal congressional districts was "illegal gerrymandering." The maps approved by the Utah State Legislature split Salt Lake County among the four congressional districts.

"We hope this litigation will make it possible for all Utahns be able to cast votes that matter and are so glad that Judge Gibson is ruling in our favor,” Wendy Dennehy, MWEG's senior director of advocacy, voting rights and ethics, said in a statement to FOX 13 News.

Representatives for legislative leaders said they were reviewing the ruling and did not immediately offer a comment.

"This decision means Utahns will finally and officially get their day in court, in spite of exhaustive attempts by attorneys for the state legislature to delay justice. The extreme and egregious gerrymandering passed by our state legislature will be on display when the court hears this case," said Katie Wright, the executive director of Better Boundaries, the group that backed Prop. 4 and a supporter of the lawsuit.

Read the judge's ruling here:

This is a breaking news story. Updates on FOX 13 News and as information becomes availabe.