Gerrymander Gazette: avoiding the circles of hell edition
June 21, 2022
Happy first day of summer! This week, we’ll take a look at an overview of this redistricting cycle and some of the action happening in the courts related to the fight for fair maps. Many thanks to Camille Hanson, our intern, for taking the lead on this and the rest of this summer’s editions of the Gerrymander Gazette. Let’s dive in.
- Our own Kathay Feng gets literary in this CNN analysis summarizing how the current redistricting cycle was more dysfunctional and prone to litigation in states where redistricting commissions weren’t truly independent from politician influence.
- After a federal court struck down Louisiana’s congressional map earlier this month for failing to include two majority-Black districts, the Republican-majority legislature asked for a 10-day extension to redraw the map. On June 16, a federal judge denied this request and kept the June 20 deadline. Wanting to enjoy a relaxing Father’s Day weekend instead, Louisiana politicians ended the court-ordered redistricting session early with no proposal for a new map. A judge has ordered plaintiffs and defendants to submit proposed maps for a June 29 hearing. Republican legislators have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the map that the district court struck down. Additionally, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will hear arguments in the case on July 8.
- Earlier this month, Republican members of Ohio’s politician redistricting commission refused a court order to redraw gerrymandered maps. Last week, Secretary of State and election chief Frank LaRose stated that it wasn’t possible to create a new General Assembly district map until after the November election.
- On June 15th, the ACLU of Southern California announced a lawsuit against Riverside County, CA. Plaintiffs argue that the supervisorial district maps redrawn in December ignore community input, prioritize incumbent reelection, and dilute Latino voting power.