Sunday, February 26, 2006

United States Supreme court (per curiam opinion) allows citizen challenges to Colorado's court-imposed Congressional redistricting mapLance et al v Dennis, Colorado Secy State. #05555 Feb 22, 2006. The federal court in Colorado dismissed citizens' suit to stop the continued use of a redistricting map the Colorado supreme court had imposed for the 2002 elections. The federal court had earlier dismissed the Colorado attorney generals claim that the state court imposed map violated Federal Constitutional requirements that state legislatures draw district boundaries. Elections Clause of Article I, §4, of the U. S. Constitution ("The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Sena-tors and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each Stateby the Legislature thereof"), and the First Amendment'sPetition Clause ("Congress shall make no law . . . abridg- ing . . . the right of the people . . . to petition the Govern-ment for a redress of grievances"). The supreme court finds that the citizens lawsuit is not barred under the Federal Rooker Feldman doctrine: We now note jurisdiction, and address whether the Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars the plaintiffs from proceedingbecause they were in privity with a party in Salazar. Weconclude it does not, and vacate the judgment of the Dis-trict Court. Although the citizens could in some sense be in privity with the state's representative, the attorney general, the Supreme Court finds they werenot in privity for Rooker Feldman purposes:
The Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not bar actions by nonparties to the earlier state-court judgment simply because, for purposes of preclusion law, they could be considered in privity with a party to the judgment...Incorporation of preclusion principles into Rooker-Feldman risks turning that limited doctrine into a uniform federal rule governing the preclu-sive effect of state-court judgments, contrary to the FullFaith and Credit Act.

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