Type to search

Government - Local Government - State News

Challenge to Cupid ‘Home Rule’ map filed in latest lawsuit


A lawsuit was filed last week challenging the home rule map that has been under controversy since the start of the new year. Saying that the Cobb commission has been operating in uncertainty under its amended map, Cobb Commissioner Keli Gambrill and Cobb resident Larry Savage filed the lawsuit. 

Gambrill has not been shy about her concerns regarding the home rule map that the board adopted as they rejected the map adopted last year by Republican lawmakers at the capitol and signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp that drew Commissioner Jerica Richardson out of her district. The Legislature’s adopted electoral lines effectively disqualified Richardson from holding office halfway through her 4-year elected term.

Democrats in the delegation denounced the Republican drawn map that would unseat a sitting commissioner. Democrats on the commission, under the leadership of Lisa Cupid, passed their own map claiming home rule. With the passage of the Cupid map, the Cobb County Attorney Rowlinghas fallen in line with Cupid’s directive that her map rules the day in Cobb County, even though the Georgia Attorney General has said the Cupid map is unconstitutional. Rowling stated previously that the county can legally change its district lines under the home rule provision of the state constitution.

The lawsuit cites unofficial opinion letters issued by the Office of Legislative Counsel, the Secretary of State’s office and the Attorney General’s office, all of which say the county does not have the power to amend its own map. Carr had indicated that his office was unable to take action until a citizen filed a lawsuit. Now he has two citizens with one being a sitting commissioner. The lawsuit says Gambrill is pursuing legal action as a county resident, not in her official capacity as a commissioner.

Defendants named in the suit include Cobb County and the Cobb County Board of Elections, which the lawsuit attempts to bar from certifying elections under the county’s map.

The lawsuit is asking the Cobb County Superior Court, under Judge Ann Harris to demand that the county retract its amendment of the electoral map and acknowledge the map passed by state lawmakers as the legal map of the county.

It also seeks to force the county to “ensure that only those commissioners who are validly, legally (and) constitutionally permitted” to serve on the Board of Commissioners are allowed to do so, taking direct aim at Richardson’s seat. If the lawsuit succeeds, political control of Cobb’s board would be split 2-2 between the two major parties until a new election can be held in a heavily Democratic District 2.Following the filing of the latest lawsuit, County Attorney Rowling issued a written statement saying, “We are aware of this filing and, as with a previous case, look forward to discussing the merits of the Board of Commissioners’ action in court.”

Tension has been present and on full display at each Board of Commission meeting. This began with the first meeting of the year when Cupid directed police to remove Gambrill and Commissioners JoAnn Birrell from the dais after the two Republican members raised concerns regarding Cupid’s home rule map. Cupid later claimed that she did not direct police to remove them. The two commissioners left the dais but did not leave the meeting. They sat in the audience with others in attendance.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *