Redistricting Roundup: Deadlines looming for many states in redistricting process
By Geoff Pallay
|Figure 1 Figure 2|
Figure 1 is the "Fayetteville to the 4th" map as passed
by the State House. Figure 2 is the current
Congressional map as passed after the 2000 census.
Controversy has surrounded the Arkansas Congressional redistricting process. The Arkansas State Legislature is tasked with re-drawing U.S. House districts (they do not oversee state legislative districts).
The deadline for the legislature is today, April 1, which is also the conclusion of the 2011 session. The State House passed a map (See Figure 1) on March 31, sending it to the State Senate. However, the Senate is not expected to pass the measure today.
Instead, the expectation is that legislators will amend the Sine Dine resolution to allow them to return after April 27 and re-open negotiations over the legislation. Republicans have accused the Democratic-sponsored map of gerrymandering in favor of Democrats. The map is controversial for a "finger-shaped" 4th Congressional district that moves the city of Fayetteville from the 3rd Congressional District to the 4th. Figure 1 portrays the current district breakdown.
This week, lawsuits were filed in Maine and Georgia. Overall, lawsuits pertaining to redistricting have been filed in 12 states -- Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas.
Republicans and Democrats have each formed their own advocacy groups that have released maps. Similar names.
Republican leaders of the legislature submitted amendments 5 and 6 to the DOJ for pre-clearance. They also included 11 pages of interpretations of the amendments. Critics allege that the interpretation will be an attempt to undermine the amendments.
Legislative Black Caucus filed suit against the state accusing them of gerrymandering, relating to the creation of cities from 2005-2007. Alleged "super-white" cities.
|Quote of the Week|
House redistricting committee setup a website and the Democratic-members were announced.
Democrats are back from the walkout and a website has been generated.
The first three maps have been introduced. Pairs two sets of incumbents together. Leaves one district open and one by himself. Likelihood is the maps will not pass. Should be interesting to see how it shakes down. If this map doesn't pass the legislature then new maps must be introduced in 35 days. Ultimate deadline is September 1, 2011.
|Total States with Lawsuits filed: 12|
|Next state deadline?|| New Jersey|
|Maps submitted for vote: 6||MS (2), LA (3), AR (1)|
|States that have completed redistricting||None|
Senate passed a Senate map, House passed house districts. Legislative Black Caucus is threatening a lawsuit. Congressional maps are a mess. Northern interests want two large, side-by-side districts up north. Southern interests want one west-running district to save population in the South. Three Congressional maps have been through debate. No consensus yet. Jindal after initially stating he will stay away from the process, has this week come out publicly in favor of certain maps. His chief of staff is having meetings with Republican leaders.
A lawsuit was filed in Maine. Their Constitution requires that Congressional, House and Senate maps be drawn during 2013. Almost all of Maine's population growth was near the XXX border. So representation is disproportionate to growth. Those constituents have filed a lawsuit that the 2012 election would be in direct violation of the proportional representation. The suit asks a judge to force redistricting to occur this year.
Bill introduced to create a nonpartisan redistricting commission.
April 2 is the deadline to complete redistricting. Unlikely to happen. McCoy says he will send his maps directly to the DOJ for approval but Senate says that the maps cannot be sent until Senate approves. McCoy alleges he can. Drawing maps may end up going to the courts and one-year sessions may be required. Additionally, Senate Democrats voted to join the NAACP lawsuit. The first judge recused himself because his family member is running for the legislature.
First proposed Congressional map released. They have to lose one seat and it cuts the Carnahan seat around St. Louis. This was expected. St. Louis does not want to give up a seat.
Held first joint committee meeting. House did not show because of floor debate. Dem minority leader of senate asked chairman Rucho to resign in order to trade for 2 Dems who have experience on redistricting. Rucho said no. Today, another committee member resigned.
Legislature rejected a proposed independent commission.
|This week in redistricting|
It's come down to the wire for New Jersey. The redistricting commission is expected to vote on Sunday at Noon on a final state legislative map. This week speculation surrounded supposed leaked maps from both political parties. In each version that was reportedly introduced, several incumbents would be pitted against one another.
1,000 mile run around the state in order to raise awareness about redistricting and gerrymandering. Today is his first day of running.
Proposed maps in the legislature. Senate and House made their own maps. Looking pretty gerrymandered. R's in House kick minority leader out of his district. Dems in Senate packed four Senate R's into 2 districts. Preliminary maps. Minority parties in both chambers are furious. Residents have been up in arms.