Trial begins in GOP redistricting map challenge

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The state's new legislative district maps were either drawn up by conspiring Democrats to boost their chances of winning more seats in the Legislature or carefully crafted to fairly ensure they complied with federal Voting Rights Act rules and state constitutional requirements.
Those are the competing arguments in a civil lawsuit trial brought by Republican voters that began Monday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.
Lawyers for the GOP voters say the two Democrats and one Independent on the Independent Redistricting Commission varied districts' populations in an effort to get more Democrats elected.
Lawyers for the commission said in their opening statements that if that was the intent, it amounted to partisan suicide because both sides agree the GOP will continue to control the Legislature for the next decade.