* Good catch by Hannah Meisel…
MALDEF’s lawsuit was filed on behalf of five Latino voters in four different House districts under the plan Democrats passed in May. The suit alleges those voters have been living in districts that were malapportioned in the 2011 redistricting cycle, and will again live in districts that violate the 14th Amendment principle of “one man one vote” — unless the court steps in.
Of the four districts identified in the lawsuit, three of them saw minor adjustments to their proposed borders under the new district maps Democrats published Monday, compared with the maps passed in May. That includes the 1st House District, which State Rep. Aarón Ortiz (D-Chicago) has represented since 2019 and will continue to represent under the new map, despite the changed territory.
The slight change to the first district does not affect the 22nd House District, represented by freshman State Rep. Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar (D-Chicago). Guerrero-Cuellar, who was appointed to the House seat vacated by longtime former House Speaker Mike Madigan in February, recently filed an unusual motion in the MALDEF suit asking to be added to the list of defendants, along with Democratic leaders.
In the filing, Guerrero-Cuellar said she was asking the court on behalf of her constituents as she wanted to prevent any sort of settlement of surrounding districts that may affect her own. According to internal data, the new 22nd District’s population is nearly 63% voting age residents of Hispanic origin — the third-most largest share in the new proposed map.
“The Representative of the 22nd District has a significant interest in maintaining the current configuration of the map to protect her constituents’ rights to a fair and reasonable opportunity to elect candidates of their choice and avoid dilution of Latino/a/x votes,” Guerrero-Cuellar’s attorneys wrote.
Guerrero-Cuellar is represented in the matter by the Del Galdo Law Group, whose namesake Michael Del Galdo has long been close with Madigan.
In court filings seeking to block Guerrero-Cuellar’s legal move, MALDEF included a July 2 letter from Guerrero-Cuellar to Griselda Vega Samuel, the organization’s midwest regional counsel and leader in its Chicago office. The letter asked Vega Samuel to “refrain from taking any legal actions that would disrupt the representation of this community and silence local voices.”
“I am deeply concerned that attempts to overturn the map in court could disrupt the representation this community enjoys and silence our voices,” Guerrero-Cuellar wrote. “It is my sincere hope that you will respect the diversity of this community and the clearly stated will of the people who lives here and forgo any legal challenge to the 22nd Representative District.”
The 1st House District, by the way, went from 75 percent Latino voting age population in the May redistricting bill to 76 percent in the current bill.