Judge dismisses Tea Party suit over new legislative map

A Superior Court Judge this morning dismissed all 10 counts in a complaint filed by a Tea Party group hoping to invalidate the recently adopted legislative map.

Judge Linda Feinberg ruled that the group did not make its case that the map was unconstitutional.  According to the suit, the Tea Party claimed that the commission that adopted the map earlier this year had overpacked the southern portion of the state, giving voters in the north more power.  The suit also claimed that no representation on the 11-member commission was given to unaffiliated voters.

The group also claimed the map illegally splits counties too many times and takes power away from the cities of Newark and Jersey City by reducing the number of districts that include portions of the cities from three to two.

The commission, which was made up of five Democrats and five Republicans and an 11th tie-breaking member, adopted the map in April after months of jockeying.  The map ultimately adopted by the commission was one submitted by the Democratic team and observers say it will likely result in little change in the current make-up of the Legislature.

Two weeks ago, Feinberg rejected a motion to halt the use of the current map while the case was decided.  She signaled at that time that she would likely throw out the suit in its entirety.

Judge dismisses Tea Party suit over new legislative map