Redistricting Litigation Tracker ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
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The State of Play
As a new year begins, 27 states have completed drawing congressional maps and 28 states have completed legislative maps. The Brennan Center has released a tracker you can use to view new redistricting maps that have been approved by states.
Featured Pieces
Redistricting Litigation Tracker
Across the country, voters already have filed a number of lawsuits claiming newly enacted plans are either racially discriminatory, partisan gerrymanders, or in the case of North Carolina and Ohio, both. As of January 5, there are a total of 34 cases in state and federal courts over the maps in 12 states.
You can find more about the pending lawsuits at the Brennan Center’s Redistricting Litigation tracker.
Ohio Take Note: Fairness Is a Universal Value
Tala Dahbour, policy director for the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) writes about the effect the state’s new legislative districts will have on Ohio’s Muslim communities. Numerous public comments called for Muslim communities near mosques to be kept whole. However, the Republican-controlled commission voted along party lines to pass a redistricting plan that carves up “cohesive, tight-knit communities who pray together, support each other, and share political concerns,” making it “less likely that the community will receive meaningful outreach from candidates or constituent services.” She writes, “the commission’s actions have sent a dangerous message about the state of democracy in Ohio, discouraging citizens from exercising democratic rights by locking in political outcomes no matter how much organizing takes place.”
CAIR-Ohio is among several groups and voters that the Brennan Center is representing in a lawsuit challenging the partisan gerrymandering of Ohio’s legislative maps. You can read more about the case here.
Featured Maps: Trouble in Tampa
Florida’s legislature has not yet approved any redistricting plans, but the draft maps in the state house and senate are already worrying residents of Tampa. The city, the third-largest in the state, is within the Fourteenth Congressional District in the current map. Each of the new plans currently being considered, however, would split Tampa between multiple districts. Map drawers claim that dividing Tampa was necessary to accommodate a new congressional district in the adjacent Polk County. Members of the Tampa City Council do not accept this explanation and wrote to the legislature’s redistricting committees, urging their members to keep Tampa in one district. One plan being considered in the state house, H8001 (shown below), would divide Tampa among three congressional districts.
Redistricting in the News
Federal lawsuits on behalf of Black voters in three southern states claim that newly enacted redistricting plans are racially discriminatory. In Arkansas, the state house map is being challenged for not adding more majority-Black districts, while a lawsuit over South Carolina’s house map alleges the plan dilutes Black voting power. Meanwhile, in Georgia the legislative and congressional plans are all facing lawsuits from Asian and Latino as well as Black plaintiffs, who argue that the districts give white, rural voters outsized political influence.
Republican legislators in North Carolina tasked with drawing new maps have repeatedly insisted their plans were created without using racial data and that this was “the most transparent” redistricting cycle in the state’s history. Yet recent documents filed in the lawsuits over the state’s new plans have revealed that GOP lawmakers used “concept maps” unseen by the public in their deliberations, but that those maps have been “lost and no longer exist.” The plaintiffs argue that the maps are illegal because they were not shown to the public and are no longer available for the court to review.
California’s fast-growing Latino and Asian communities gained substantial representation in the new congressional and legislative maps approved by the state’s independent redistricting commission. Last decade, the state’s Latino population grew to become the largest ethnic group in the state. California’s Asian population also rose, while its white population shrank. These demographic changes are reflected in the new maps — 16 congressional districts are projected to have majority-Latino voting age populations, up from the 14 that were drawn last cycle. Meanwhile, the number of districts whose voting age population is at least 35 percent Asian increased from three to four. As Colby Itkowitz of the Washington Post notes, the “California commission’s recognition of Latino growth stands in stark contrast with Texas’s redistricting” where lawsuits contend “Republicans intentionally minimized Latino voting strength to draw more majority-white districts.”
In Missouri, the bipartisan commission responsible for drawing state house districts has submitted two tentative house redistricting plans, one Republican and one Democratic, to the secretary of state. By submitting two proposals, house commission members are hoping they can buy more time to continue to negotiate over a compromise final plan. Meanwhile, the separate commission responsible for drawing state senate districts failed to submit any tentative plans, meaning that the upper chamber’s districts will now be drawn by a panel of appellate judges.
Republicans in the Missouri legislature, which draws the state’s congressional map, were less aggressive than some feared, proposing a congressional plan that would largely leave the state’s eight districts unchanged. Under the redrawn map, Republicans will continue to hold six of the state’s eight congressional districts.
New York’s new advisory commission failed to compromise on one proposal for each of the state’s legislative and congressional maps. Instead, the commission is sending pairs of plans, one from the Democratic commissioners, and another from their Republican colleagues, for the state legislature’s consideration. Should the legislature reject either plan, the commission would get another opportunity to draw new districts, but if lawmakers reject that map, they would be free to draw their own, leading some to fear that the Democratic-controlled legislature will engage in aggressive gerrymandering.
The Virginia Supreme Court has approved the redistricting plans created by the two special masters it appointed to complete the state’s redistricting process after the state’s advisory commission deadlocked. While the commission’s proceedings were highly contentious, the two special masters apparently worked well together, saying their maps were “a true joint effort.”