PORTLAND (AP) – The Green Independent Party has gone to court to challenge a redistricting plan that would separate state Rep. John Eder from most of his constituents.

The Greens say the 2003 remapping would effectively dismantle Eder’s support base.

In their filing with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, the Greens argue that the redistricting plan constitutes gerrymandering and violates the Maine Constitution’s requirement that each district be contiguous and compact.

“The goal is to bring the reapportionment in line with constitutional requirements,” said David Lourie, a lawyer who represents the Greens.

The reapportionment plan, adopted April 15 by the Legislature, combines Eder’s Old Port neighborhood with a district that includes Munjoy Hill.

It also removes Portland’s island communities from the Munjoy Hill district and groups them with the East Deering neighborhood located farther away.

Lourie said the islands were removed from the Munjoy Hill district, lowering the population enough that it could be stretched to encompass Eder’s neighborhood.

He said the islands must be linked with Munjoy Hill and the Portland peninsula because it’s the closest land mass, citing a 1992 reapportionment ruling by the Alaska Supreme Court that dealt with that state’s irregular coastline.

If Eder sought re-election under the plan, he would face Democrat Benjamin Dudley, who was elected to a third term last fall with 81 percent of the vote.

AP-ES-05-17-03 1038EDT