January Redistricting Roundup: The New Year Brings New Maps
Since our last redistricting roundup, five additional states have finished redistricting and all except Louisiana have, at the very least, begun to consider proposals. At the same time, the state Supreme Court in Ohio overturned their new maps and ordered the state government to start over and litigation is advancing in several other states. Here’s an update of where redistricting stands as we move into 2022.
States With Approved Maps
Barring future court rulings, 28 states have now substantially completed the redistricting process. Several of the states we highlighted in the November roundup — Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, Utah and West Virginia — as well as our December roundup — Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Texas — don’t have any new updates since they completed redistricting, so they aren’t included here. However, litigation is advancing in several states that could, like in Ohio, force them back to square one in the redistricting process.
The commission met on Jan. 18 to formally certify both maps. Lerner, however, announced during the meeting that she regretted voting in favor of the congressional map and alleged it doesn’t meet constitutional requirements. The commission later adjourned unexpectedly without voting for certification. Another meeting is scheduled for today.
On Jan. 5, members of the Michigan House, the Romulus City Council and Black voters filed a lawsuit in the Michigan Supreme Court challenging the new maps. The complaint argues the maps dilute the voting strength of Black voters in and around the city of Detroit in violation of the state Constitution and the federal VRA. Lawmakers and activists had previously raised concerns with how the commission tried to comply with the VRA.
States With Proposed, But Not Yet Approved Maps
With 2022 primaries drawing nearer, many states are scrambling to finalize district maps before candidate filing deadlines. In a few states, courts have already taken over the process from the legislature or are poised to do so.
Congressional: Feb. 15, 2022
Despite asking for an extension, Connecticut’s backup redistricting commission failed to adopt a new congressional map by Dec. 21. As a result, the state Supreme Court took over redistricting. Earlier this month, the backup commission’s Republican and Democratic members submitted two proposed maps to the court’s special master. Both proposals are similar, and neither deviates much from the current map. The special master released his own map on Jan. 18, and the justices plan to hold a public hearing on redistricting on Jan. 27.
Congressional: June 13, 2022
Legislative: June 13, 2022
On Jan. 13, the Florida Senate’s redistricting committee approved its state Senate and congressional maps with near-unanimous approval. While voting advocates criticized both maps for diluting minority voting strength, senators from both parties praised the plans. Democrats consider the congressional map to be a reasonable attempt by Senate Republicans to adhere to the Fair Districts standard of the Florida Constitution. In an unusual move, however, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) submitted his own congressional redistricting plan on Jan. 16 that would cut in half the number of majority-Black districts and boost the number of districts Trump won in the 2020 election. Since DeSantis’ signature is needed for any plan to become law, his move may cause the Legislature to modify their redistricting plans. DeSantis’ map may also be illegal, as it dismantles the VRA-protected 5th District. As a result, analysts have suggested the map is more of a political stunt than a serious proposal. Accordingly, on Jan. 20, the Florida Senate passed its congressional plan, suggesting Republicans will ignore DeSantis’ proposal.
Congressional: Feb. 27, 2022
Legislative: Feb. 27, 2022
Hawaii’s redistricting took an unexpected turn this year when the U.S. military sent the reapportionment commission conflicting sets of data on the number of non-permanent resident personnel stationed in the state. Per a 2012 court ruling, non-permanent residents must be removed from population estimates used to redraw districts. The incorrect data forced the commission to redo parts of the redistricting process, leading the commission to vote to shift one House seat from Oahu to Hawai’i Island, also known as the Big Island.
Congressional: June 1, 2022
Legislative: June 1, 2022
Kansas Republicans released two proposed congressional maps on Jan. 18, both of which appear to target the Kansas City-area district held by Rep. Sharice Davids (D). However, disagreements among Republicans could jeopardize a plan that radically shifts the status quo since rural residents could object to being joined with more urban communities. Gov. Laura Kelly (D) could also veto any proposals that pass the Legislature. Maps for new legislative districts will also have to contend with the continued shift of districts from more rural areas to more populated ones, another potential source of discord for Kansas Republicans in the redistricting process.
Legislative: Feb. 27, 2022
Since the General Assembly voted to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto of the state’s new congressional map, two lawsuits challenging the districts have been filed. Both lawsuits argue the map is a partisan gerrymander designed to favor Democrats in violation of the Maryland Constitution. At the same time, the General Assembly has convened to consider new maps for the state’s legislative districts. The Assembly’s Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission approved a proposal along party lines on Jan. 7 for consideration by the full legislature, while Hogan submitted a plan created by the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission. Hogan’s plan will become law unless the General Assembly passes its own plan, which it is expected to do.
Congressional: Feb. 15, 2022
Legislative: Feb. 15, 2022
With control of redistricting split between Democrats and Republicans, final map drawing in Minnesota will likely end up in the courts as it has every decade since 1980. A special panel appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court held oral arguments in an impasse lawsuit on Jan. 4 to prepare for this possibility. The panel will release its own maps on Feb. 15 if the Legislature fails to reach an agreement. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Senate Republicans released their own set of redistricting plans before the legislative session starts on Jan. 31. The Minnesota House Redistricting Committee previously voted to advance the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party’s plan in December.
Congressional: March 1, 2022
Legislative: April 3, 2022
The Mississippi Senate approved the state’s new congressional map on Jan. 12, sending the proposal to Gov. Tate Reeves (R) for approval. The plan preserves the majority-Black 2nd District represented by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D). Democrats in both chambers opposed the plan, arguing Thompson’s district was too large geographically and argued it should be more compact. The Legislature will consider legislative redistricting plans in the upcoming weeks.
Congressional: Feb. 22, 2022
Legislative: Jan. 23, 2022
A state House committee advanced a new congressional map to the House floor on Jan. 12. The proposal maintains the status quo of six Republican and two Democratic districts. However, it’s unclear whether this map has the votes needed to pass the Legislature. Conservative Republicans feel the map doesn’t go far enough, arguing the Legislature could eliminate the Kansas City-based district held by Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D). Despite these concerns, the full House voted to approve the map on Jan. 18. Meanwhile, the two commissions drawing the state’s legislative districts both failed to meet their deadlines. The House commission voted to approve both a Democratic- and a Republican-backed map while the Senate commission opted to turn over map drawing to a panel of judges. If the House commission fails to come to an agreement on a single map in January, the judges will also draw that map.
Congressional: June 1, 2022
Legislative: June 1, 2022
The New Hampshire House approved a redistricting plan on Jan. 5 that makes both of the state’s congressional districts less competitive than they currently are. Under the proposal, the 1st District would favor Republicans while the 2nd would favor Democrats. Democrats, who had proposed a congressional plan with minimal changes, criticized the map as a clear partisan gerrymander. The House also approved a new plan for state House districts. Both plans are now before the state Senate.
Legislative: March 1, 2022
New Jersey’s Congressional Redistricting Commission adopted a new congressional map on Dec. 22. The commission’s chair, former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice John Wallace Jr., cast a tie-breaking vote in favor of the Democratic map. The new map creates a more competitive district for Rep. Tom Malinowski (D) while three other Democratic incumbents who previously faced highly competitive races were drawn into more favorable districts. New Jersey Republicans filed a lawsuit in the state Supreme Court solely over Wallace’s role in the process, arguing his reasoning to vote in favor of the Democratic map is “unreasonable” and violates the New Jersey and U.S. Constitution’s equal protection and due process clause. In response to the lawsuit, the court asked Wallace to expand on his reasoning, which he did on Jan. 11.
Meanwhile, New Jersey’s Apportionment Commission has until March 1 to redraw the state’s 40 legislative districts. Four additional meetings have been announced to solicit public input and the commission’s tiebreaker has asked Democrats and Republicans to submit proposals by Feb. 8.
Congressional: April 4, 2022
Legislative: April 4, 2022
New York’s bipartisan commission failed to agree on a single set of redistricting plans and submitted competing proposals to the Legislature on Jan. 3. The Legislature voted to reject both sets of plans on Jan. 10. The commission has 15 days — until Jan. 25 — to submit a new proposal to the Legislature. If the Legislature rejects the commission’s maps a second time, the Legislature will take full control of the process.
Congressional: Jan. 24, 2022
Legislative: Jan. 24, 2022
The Republican-controlled House voted on Jan. 12 to approve the congressional map advanced by the House Government committee in December. However, Gov. Tom Wolf (D), whose signature is necessary for any plan to become law, criticized the House-passed proposal for failing to comply with his redistricting principles and proposed his own congressional map. If the General Assembly and governor fail to reach an agreement, courts will step in to resolve the impasse. Two impasse lawsuits are already proceeding in state court to prepare for this eventuality. The Commonwealth Court has ordered all parties to submit proposed maps by Jan. 24 and will impose a map on Jan. 30 if the normal process fails.
The Legislative Reapportionment Commission adopted a preliminary redistricting plan for the General Assembly on Dec. 16. The commission solicited feedback on the proposal until Jan. 18 and will hold hearings throughout January before developing a final plan. The proposals for the state House and Senate would likely lead to Democratic gains.
Congressional: June 27, 2022
Legislative: June 27, 2022
The Rhode Island Special Commission on Reapportionment voted on Jan. 12 to advance new maps to the General Assembly for approval. The maps count about 1,000 inmates at their home address rather than at their prison address, a first step in eliminating prison gerrymandering in the state, although the proposals were also criticized for protecting incumbent lawmakers. Rhode Island’s congressional districts are largely the same under the proposal and will likely continue to send two Democrats to Washington.
Congressional: March 16, 2022
On Jan. 10, a House legislative committee advanced a congressional map that would turn Rep. Nancy Mace’s (R) coastal district into a safe Republican seat. The proposal is similar to one released by Senate Republicans in November that was criticized along racial and partisan lines. Democrats also lambasted the map for ignoring the concerns of Charleston voters — former Rep. Joe Cunningham (D), for example, advocated keeping Charleston and North Charleston whole. On Jan. 19, a Senate committee advanced a similar map on a party-line vote. Meanwhile, the South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP has amended a previously filed complaint to argue the state’s new House districts are racially gerrymandered and dilute the voting strength of Black voters.
Congressional: April 7, 2022
Legislative: April 7, 2022
On Jan. 12, Tennessee Republicans released their proposed congressional map, which targets Rep. Jim Cooper’s (D) Nashville-based district as expected. The House redistricting committee passed the map later the same day. On Jan. 13, the Senate advanced an identical congressional plan along with a new Senate map that will help Republicans maintain their legislative supermajority. Democrats harshly criticized the congressional map — Rep. Cooper tweeted that “All Nashvillians should feel insulted and abused by the new map.” The state Democratic Party announced its intention to sue over the redistricting plans for racially gerrymandering the state.
Congressional: Not applicable
Legislative: April 25, 2022
On Jan. 14, the Vermont House advanced a multi-member district map instead of the single-member plan favored by the Legislative Apportionment Board in November. Some representatives objected to the move, arguing the single-member plan better represents Vermonters. The full House approved the plan on Jan. 18, sending the proposal to the Senate for approval.
Congressional: April 15, 2022
Legislative: April 15, 2022
Wisconsin’s redistricting process is in the hands of the state Supreme Court after Gov. Tony Evers (D) vetoed redistricting plans passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Oral arguments in Wisconsin’s impasse litigation were held on Jan. 19 to determine which congressional and legislative maps will go into effect this year. Each party in the lawsuit submitted their own proposals and explained how their maps comply with guidelines set by the court last year. The court ordered parties to present “least-change” maps and indicated it would not consider partisanship when evaluating proposals, raising the possibility the court will preserve the state’s existing Republican gerrymanders.
Congressional: Not applicable
Legislative: End of 2022 Budget Session
Wyoming will adopt new legislative districts during the 2022 budget session. Ahead of the beginning of the session, a Wyoming legislative committee advanced the “I-80 Compromise” plan to redraw the state’s districts. The proposal entails numerous changes for communities along Interstate-80, the east-west freeway, with some lawmakers calling it a compromise and others calling it “chaos.” State Rep. Dan Zwonitzer (R) criticized the plan for favoring rural interests at the expense of more populous districts.
States with Overturned Maps
Just because a state enacts new maps doesn’t mean redistricting is over. Courts can — and will — step in and overturn maps that are partisan or racial gerrymanders. Ohio is the first state to have its maps overturned, but it likely won’t be the last.
States Without Proposed Maps
Congressional: July 22, 2022
Legislative: Dec. 31, 2022
The Louisiana Legislature has announced it will hold a redistricting session in February. The session is currently scheduled to run from Feb. 1 to Feb. 22. Meanwhile, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) indicated in his end-of-year news conference that he hoped the state would draw two majority-Black congressional districts instead of just one as the current map does. Coupled with Louisiana Republicans’ inability to override a gubernatorial veto, Gov. Bel Edwards’ position increases the likelihood the congressional map will end up in impasse litigation. A lawsuit has already been filed to prepare for this possibility.