By Darryl R. Isherwood | September 10th, 2012 - 10:05am
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A lawsuit brought by members of the Tea Party challenging the map adopted by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission last year has been shot down by an appellate court, which in a published opinion affirmed Judge Feinberg's trial decision.

The suit sought to overturn the legislative map adopted last year.

"The Commission Map in its current construction dilutes or nullifies the voice of the voters in the southern half of the state and in the state's two largest municipalities, Newark and Jersey City," Tea Party members who filed the suit said in a statement at the time.

The lawsuit claims the new map over-packed the southern half of the state. The suit also alleged illegal splits of Newark and Jersey City from three districts each to two. "These splits dilute the representation of these urban municipalities by reducing the number of elected legislators from 9 representatives to 6 in violation of New Jersey Supreme Court precedent," the statement from the Bayshore Tea Party said.

The complaint also alleged that New Jersey's unaffiliated voters, which total 45 percent of those registered to vote, were not represented in the process, which relies on members of the major parties to choose the commission members.

The new map was adopted last year as part of the decennial redistricting exercise, in which the state's 40 legislative districts are redrawn.  Redistricting coincides each decade with the new census.  

The map developed this year resulted in Democrats maintaining control of both houses of the Legislature.  They kept all of their seats in the Senate and picked up one in the Assembly.

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