The latest wins (and losses) for fair congressional maps ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌   ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌   ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌   ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌   ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌   ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
Brennan Center
The State of Play
Forty-three of forty-four states with more than one congressional district have finalized new congressional maps as of May 25; only New Hampshire does not yet have a final map. Meanwhile, Montana and Ohio are the only states that have yet to finalize new legislative maps.
The Brennan Center has two trackers you can use to keep up with the redistricting cycle: Our Redistricting Map Tracker contains links to all of the newly passed maps, while our Redistricting Litigation Roundup outlines the legal cases pending over new plans.
All told, 71 cases around the country have challenged newly passed congressional or legislative maps as racially discriminatory or partisan gerrymanders — or both — as of May 25.
Featured Story: A Fairer but Controversial Congressional Map for New York
After the New York Court of Appeals struck down the congressional and senate maps passed by the legislature for unfairly advantaging Democrats, a lower court appointed political scientist Jonathan Cervas as a special master to redraw the maps. The map he created amounted to a political earthquake for members of the state’s congressional delegation, with many districts changing significantly for the first time in decades, especially in New York City.
Cervas’s initial proposals drew backlash from incumbents, most notably Black lawmakers in Brooklyn. After considering their critiques and other public comments, he made a number of changes to address some concerns raised by minority groups, although the overall structure of the map remained the same.
All told, New York’s new congressional map is fairer than the legislatively drawn map it replaces, having significantly more competitive districts and a better balanced distribution of seats between the parties. Several incumbents are still not satisfied, however, with some of the special master's choices. In the end, though, as the Brennan Center’s Michael Li noted, if Democratic incumbents remain unhappy with the map, they largely have only themselves to blame. By drawing a plan that was so blatantly partisan, Democrats forced courts to act. In short, it was “a train wreck of Democrats’ own creation.”
Featured Story: Making Room for Asian Americans at the Table
As the end of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month approaches, the Brennan Center’s Michael Li reflected on how the growth of Asian American communities has not translated into increased political power. In fact, in some ways, things seem to be getting worse. Recent surges in anti-Asian hate crimes reflect an unfortunate reality: “The constant lesson of American history is that at times of crisis and pressure, it is all too easy for Asian Americans to be consigned to the role of the ‘perpetual foreigner,’ the threatening outsider who is never fully American.” 
He continues, “But if this is a fraught moment, it also is an opportunity to make sure that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are properly represented in the halls of power where decisions affecting the AAPI community are made. This is an area where both Democrats and Republic-ans fall short . . . AAPI Heritage Month is a welcome opportunity for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to feel seen and recognized as part of the American story. But a seat at the table would be better.”
Featured Map
In the version of NY-11 passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature, New York Democrats had controversially redrawn the district in a contorted and twisting fashion to join Republican-leaning Staten Island with upscale and much more heavily Democratic neighborhoods like Park Slope, creating a competitive but Democratic-leaning district.
By contrast, in the initial congressional plan proposed by Special Master Jonathan Cervas, NY-11 became a much more compact district that joined Staten Island with parts of South Brooklyn and incorporated the neighborhoods of Sunset Park and Red Hook.
The new configuration rankled different communities within the city: South Brooklynites did not want to see neighborhoods like Bensonhurst divided between congressional districts, while Asian communities in Sunset Park wanted to be included in the same congressional district as Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown.
For the final map, Cervas reshaped NY-11 to incorporate this feedback, which made the district closer to its original shape: Staten Island and South Brooklyn are grouped together in NY-11, while Sunset Park was reunited with Chinatown in the new NY-10.
Redistricting in the News
For the fifth time, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected the state redistricting commission’s legislative plans and ordered its members to submit new ones, this time before June 3. The commission had essentially resubmitted plans the court already deemed unconstitutional after a panel of federal judges said it would implement them for the 2022 election if no other maps were in place by May 28. Because the commission failed to comply with the state supreme court’s order to submit new plans, voters filed a motion to hold the commission members in contempt, which the state supreme court also rejected in its ruling.
A Florida appeals court judge reinstated the congressional map approved by the legislature and favored by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) after a lower court judge struck down the plan for diluting Black Floridians’ voting power. The DeSantis plan will remain in effect until the Florida Supreme Court rules on its constitutionality, which Democrats have asked the court to do expeditiously.
The Kansas Supreme Court reinstated a congressional map struck down by a lower court, with a majority finding that the plan did not violate the state constitution. The plan, drawn by Republican state legislators, controversially split Kansas City’s Wyandotte County, home to the largest communities of color in the state. The court has yet to release any opinions or dissents in the case, nor how each justice voted. 
Missouri finally has a new congressional map after Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed the compromise congressional plan that was passed just before the legislature was set to adjourn. Members of the General Assembly came to an impasse after Republican state senators attempted to impose a map intended to eliminate one of the state’s two Democratic-leaning districts.
Although ongoing litigation may still change other congressional maps, New Hampshire is the only state that has yet to finalize a plan. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) threatened to veto a plan that he thought was not reflective of the state’s competitive politics. The bicameral conference committee compromised on a plan last week, with the committee’s lone Democrat claiming that the plan needlessly moves towns between districts and disadvantages rural communities. But in a statement, Sununu said he would veto the map, meaning that special master appointed by the state supreme court will likely assume control of drawing the map.
After community members lambasted the San Francisco Redistricting Task Force for a lack of transparency and accused some of its members of being unduly influenced by outside groups, the task force’s draft final report contains recommendations to improve the redistricting process in 2031, including an increase in paid staff and administrative support and a new selection process based on that of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Local election officials across the country are urging voters to verify their polling places after a particularly chaotic redistricting cycle shifted precinct boundaries and recently enacted court rulings placed new restrictions on voting. Beyond the difficulties of planning for elections during a redistricting year, election officials are also confronting new threats to their safety; analysis from the Brennan Center finds that about $300 million is needed to implement key protections for election offices and workers.
You can find earlier editions of our Redistricting Roundup here.