All Articles Tagged "redistricting"
(Washington Post) — As many as one-quarter of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus could face significant primary opposition in their new House districts in 2012, a development that could significantly change the face of the CBC and/or reduce its membership heading into 2013. With nationwide redistricting slightly more than halfway done, at least 10 of the 41 members of the CBC already have well-known politicians eyeing their new districts. As Roll Call’s Shira Toeplitz noted on Monday, a few of those members are actually facing matchups with current or former Members of Congress who are white. These members include Reps. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.), Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) and Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.). But others are facing primaries with ambitious black politicians who see opportunities in newly drawn districts.
(ProPublica) — Their names suggest selfless dedication to democracy. Fair Districts Mass. Protect Your Vote. The Center for a Better New Jersey. And their stated goals are unarguable: In the partisan fight to redraw congressional districts, states should stick to the principle of one person, one vote. But a ProPublica investigation has found that these groups and others are being quietly bankrolled by corporations, unions and other special interests. Their main interest in the once-a-decade political fight over redistricting is not to help voters in the communities they claim to represent but mainly to improve the prospects of their political allies or to harm their enemies. The number of these purportedly independent redistricting groups is rising, but their ties remain murky. Contributions to such groups are not limited by campaign finance laws, and most states allow them to take unlimited amounts of money without disclosing the source.
Illinois Redistricting: Black Democrats Concerned About Minority Representation In Redrawn Districts
(Huffington Post) — Three African-American congressmen from Illinois have expressed concern over the state’s redrawn House and Senate boundaries, suggesting the redistricting may violate the Voting Rights Act and underrepresent minority voters. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. announced Tuesday that he will critically examine the implications of the new boundaries, which broke up key Republican districts and locked in a vast majority of Democratic strongholds. “I’ve been asked by Congressman [Bobby] Rush and Congressman [Danny] Davis to look into both maps and their implications for Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which all three of our districts are the byproduct of,” Jackson said Tuesday, according toRoll Call. “And at this time, I have not made a judgment, one way or the other.”
(Houston Chronicle) — The U.S. Department of Justice said that two of Texas’ controversial redistricting maps didn’t comply with the Voting Rights Act’s minimum standards, finding that the proposed changes to state House and Congressional districts failed to maintain or increase the ability of minorities to elect their candidates of choice. That decision, in a court filing Monday, is not binding but virtually assures that the new boundaries will be decided after a legal battle.
(Chicago Tribune) — A coalition of African-American civil rights groups is seeking to join Illinois Democratsin defending a newly drawn legislative district map that Republicans are challenging in federal court. In a request to a special three-judge federal panel considering the GOP lawsuit, the organization African Americans for Legislative Redistricting asks to be added as a defendant because its members helped Democrats craft new boundary lines for the state’s 59 Senate districts and 118 House districts. The organization is made up of the Chicago Urban League, the Rainbow Push Coalition founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., the Woodlawn Community Development Corp. led by Rev. Leon Finney and the Cook County Bar Association, an African-American lawyers’ organization. The coalition said it offered testimony to legislative committees, consulted with groups that focused on minority rights relating to new boundary lines and created its own redistricting plan that was submitted to the General Assembly.
(American Statesman) — A group of plaintiffs made up largely of Latinos and African-Americans is accusing Texas Republican lawmakers of racial discrimination in their effort to secure GOP political power at a time when the state is experiencing significant growth among minorities. In a case set to begin today , lawyers for minority groups will argue that lawmakers in the Republican-dominated Legislature drew new district boundaries for the U.S. House of Representatives and the Texas House that would dilute the representation of Texas’ Latinos and African Americans, keeping the racial and ethnic groups’ often Democratic voices muted. ”They did it on the backs of the Latino community,” said Jose Garza, a lawyer for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. The Legislature must go through the process of redistricting — and redrawing boundaries for Congress, the state House, state Senate and State Board of Education — once every 10 years after the collection of census data. But historically, the redistricting cases always end up in court.
(AJC) — Republicans in the state Capitol are about to put the finishing touches on a series of maps that are likely to make politics in Georgia more partisan, more racially polarized — and more predictable than at any time since the 1960s, a data analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution indicates. In a congressional map set to be approved this week, five Republican districts would be made more Republican, and two Democratic districts would become more Democratic. The state’s most competitive district — held by John Barrow of Savannah, Georgia’s lone white Democrat in Congress — now could give a Republican challenger a 20-point advantage in 2012 based on votes cast in recent elections. Barrow aside, the new congressional map offers more security to incumbents of both parties, and also could turn November elections into mere formalities. With one party dominant, summer primaries would determine all. And razor-wired campaign rhetoric, with no need to appeal to middle-of-the-road voters, is likely to get even sharper.
(AJC) — Republicans, already holding a majority of the state’s congressional delegation, could strengthen their grip under proposed congressional maps released Monday as part of the redistricting process. For the first time in modern memory, Republicans would represent a portion of the city of Atlanta in the U.S. House with the placement of a piece of Buckhead in the 11th Congressional District, which is represented by Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta. The maps also would leave Rep. John Barrow, one of the few remaining white Southern Democrats in the U.S. House, drawn out of his district. The plans released by Georgia’s Republican leadership in the General Assembly also would create a new congressional district that would lean toward the GOP. The release is the final major piece of the redistricting puzzle, the process following the U.S. census where lawmakers redraw the state’s congressional boundaries.
(The Grio) — When the framers of the Constitution designed our system of government, they specifically intended the House of Representatives to be the “people’s house” to reflect the broadest spectrum of Americans. Unlike the Senate, the House was designed to be the lower congressional chamber of government where the electorate was represented in a more contemporary way by having the minimum age of 25 for a member of the House (versus 30 for a Senator) and by having a Member of House stand for re-election every two years. The framers also envisioned a more intimate relationship between House members and their constituents by having members represent smaller congressional districts instead of the comparable statewide offices held by senators in the upper chamber. The framers also wrote into the constitution that a census would be completed every 10 years to ensure congressional districts were reflective of demographic changes across the states, and based upon the census data congressional districts would be redrawn based upon the migration trends of Americans.
(AJC) — The top Democrat in the Georgia House has threatened to field primary challengers against any fellow Democrat who votes for a GOP-drawn redistricting map. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, told fellow Democrats in an e-mail obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Republican plans for new district lines are discriminatory and represent a “roll-back of voting rights in Georgia” — a charge Republicans reject as partisan sour grapes. Abrams said she will work tirelessly to re-elect Democrats who vote against the plan when lawmakers return to Atlanta next week and that “we will hold every YES vote for this map accountable.”