redistricting

Ohio Passes Bipartisan Redistricting Ballot Initiative to Curb Gerrymandering
The new redistricting rules ban partisan gerrymandering through the state consitution.

Voters leave the Medina County Early Voting site. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot proposal Tuesday to reform the state’s redistricting process by requiring bipartisan cooperation in making new maps.

After polls closed, three-quarters of votes counted backed the ballot initiative. The measure asked voters if they wanted to amend the state constitution to require bipartisanship while drawing new congressional districts.

Charlie Dent Leaving Congress At Week's End
Special election for his Pennsylvania seat expected to occur same day as Nov. 6 general

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., is leaving Congress this week after submitting his formal resignation effective Saturday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Charlie Dent is serving his last week of Congress, having submitted his formal resignation effective May 12. 

Dent, co-chairman of the moderate Republican Tuesday Group, had announced on April 17 that he would be resigning sometime in May. His decision to leave Congress early came as he neared a decision on several professional opportunities he had been considering for his retirement. 

Texas Congressional Map Comes Under Supreme Court Scrutiny
Voter rights advocates worry the court could hand states a shield

Texas’ 35th District, represented by Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett, is at the center of a gerrymandering case before the Supreme Court on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday in a case that could not only require Texas to redraw its congressional districts, but give states a way to defend against claims of gerrymandering.

This is the third case the justices will hear this term about how states draw legislative maps to gain a political advantage. Cases from Wisconsin and Maryland focus on whether those maps can be too partisan. The Texas case is a more traditional challenge to how state lawmakers draw the lines using voter data.

Three Big Hurdles for D.C. as Advocates Lobby for Statehood
Any form of Congress’ voting power would still have a few problems to overcome

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., speaks during a press conference to commemorate the renaming of the historic U.S. Post Office located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE in honor of Dr. Dorothy I. Height. Norton has been a longtime advocate of D.C. statehood. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call file photo)

Washington advocates used the leadup to Monday’s D.C. Emancipation Day celebrations to push once again for the District of Columbia to become a state.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., has been a leader in the D.C. statehood effort for decades — she’s known for asking to be referred around the Capitol as representative, despite her non-voting status. Norton spoke about D.C. statehood in Congress again Thursday night ahead of Emancipation Day.

Capitol Ink | Gerrymandered Egg Hunt

Supreme Court Grapples With Partisan Gerrymandering Once Again
Maryland case was second of three redistricting cases before justices this term

Anti-gerrymandering activists gather on the steps of the Supreme Court as it prepares to hear a case Wednesday that challenged the drawing of a Maryland congressional district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Supreme Court justices gave no clear indication Wednesday that they knew how to rule in key cases about partisan gerrymandering, with one justice pitching a sort of group argument to settle the various challenges on the issue from three states.

In oral arguments in a case from Maryland, several justices said facts about how Democratic lawmakers redrew the 6th District in 2011 — which swung it from a solid Republican to a Democratic seat in the next three elections — seemed to violate the Constitution.

Pennsylvania Officials Weigh Backing GOP Candidate for Costello’s Seat
Costello’s withdrawal left them with few options

Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan A. Costello announced he was not seeking re-election after the filing deadline. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ryan A. Costello’s decision to retire has put Pennsylvania Republicans hoping to hold on to his seat in a bind, and they’re now weighing whether to back the only Republican candidate left in the race.

GOP leaders from Chester County will hold a conference call Thursday to discuss supporting Republican Greg McCauley, a tax lawyer who also filed to run in the 6th District before Costello announced his retirement, according to Val DiGiorgio, the state and Chester County GOP chairman. The county GOP was previously backing Costello, having announced its endorsements in February.

Ross: 2020 Census Will Ask About Citizenship Status
Commerce Department made announcement late Monday, despite outcry from Democrats

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has determined the 2020 Census should include a citizenship question. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Commerce Department has agreed to a request from the Justice Department to include a citizenship status question on the 2020 Census.

Commerce made the announcement late Monday, saying that the question would line up with the language used the American Community Survey.

Sen. Jeff Merkley Tests 2020 Waters With New Hampshire Visit
Oregon Democrat rails against Trump, Koch brothers, Senate Republicans

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley visited New Hampshire over the weekend, testing the waters for a potential presidential run in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Jeff Merkley made his first stops in New Hampshire over the weekend, fanning speculation that he is considering a run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

The Oregon Democrat is in his second term and has built a résumé as one of the most progressive members of his caucus.

Supreme Court Spikes Pennsylvania GOP’s Final Hopes Over New Map
Court-drawn map to take effect for 2018 midterms

The United States Supreme Court building in Washington, DC on December 1, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday denied an appeal by Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers to block a new congressional map ahead of this year’s midterm elections.

The decision to turn down the application for stay killed the GOP’s final hope to block the lines drawn by the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court after it ruled the Republican-controlled General Assembly’s 2011 map represented an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.