redistricting

Soap Actress and Trump Surrogate to Challenge Ruiz
Kimberlin Brown spoke at last year’s Republican National Convention

Soap opera actress Kimberlin Brown is the first Republican candidate to announce a run against Democratic Rep. Raul Ruiz. (Kimberlin Brown Pelzer for Congress)

Soap opera actress Kimberlin Brown announced she would challenge Democratic Rep. Raul Ruiz in California’s 36th District.

Brown spoke at last year’s Republican National Convention and said in her announcement that she would work with both Democrats and President Donald Trump, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Court Appears Divided in High-Stakes Gerrymandering Case
Apparent swing vote Anthony Kennedy offers few clues in arguments

Shirley Connuck, right, of Falls Church, Va., holds up a sign representing a district in Texas, as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday in a case on partisan gerrymandering. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court appeared deeply divided during oral arguments Tuesday in a case that could determine the fate of partisan gerrymandering across the nation, as one attorney suggested a wrong move by the court could cause the country “to lose faith in democracy, big time.”

Paul Smith, who represents the Wisconsin voters who challenged a Republican-drawn legislative map in the case now before the court, urged the justices to step in and allow federal courts to stop partisan gerrymandering.

Podcast: High Court to Weigh In on Gay Rights, Redistricting and Immigration
The Week Ahead, Episode 72

Members of the US Supreme Court are photographed on Thursday. (Rex Features via AP Images)

CQ legal affairs writer Todd Ruger drills down on the cases before the Supreme Court this new term and the justices who may tip the scales.

Show Notes:

Republican Group Ready to Spend Big on Redistricting
Operatives to raise $35 million for GOP efforts after 2020 Census

The National Republican Redistricting Trust will channel most of its resources to helping Republicans currently in office use data and the law to mold districts in 2021. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new Republican group launched a campaign Thursday to counter the efforts of an organization chaired by former Attorney General Eric Holder to redistrict Congressional boundaries more favorably to Democrats after the 2020 U.S. Census.

The National Republican Redistricting Trust announced it would raise $35 million by the 2021 redistricting to combat Holder’s group, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, or NDRC, and assist the GOP in future redistricting cases.

Farenthold to Run for Re-Election Despite Redistricting Issues
A court ruled Tuesday that his district was illegally drawn

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said he would run for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold said Wednesday that he would run for re-election in 2018, even though his southern Texas district might need to be redrawn.

A federal panel ruled Tuesday that the boundaries for Farenthold’s 27th District and the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. The court ruled that the districts were drawn primarily on the basis of race. The Republican-controlled state government signaled it would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Court Finds Two House Districts in Texas Were Illegally Drawn
27th and 35th districts were drawn on the basis of race, judges rule

A federal court found that the drawing of Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s 35th district violated federal law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal panel ruled Tuesday that the drawing of two Texas House districts violated federal law and that the state’s congressional map needs to be redrawn ahead of the 2018 midterms.

The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel found that the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, and the 27th District, represented by Republican Blake Farenthold, were drawn primarily on the basis of race, violating the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. 

How the Courts Could Upend Gerrymandering
Democrats and voter rights groups pin hopes on high court case

A new, mathematical approach to proving partisan gerrymandering will be tested at the Supreme Court this fall in a case about Wisconsin’s state Assembly district lines. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By RANDY LEONARD and TODD RUGER

Congressional maps in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania have shifted the political balance of Congress toward Republicans — but that could soon change.

Next Supreme Court Term Stacked With Major Cases
Immigration, religion, redistricting on high court’s agenda

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court photographed earlier this month. (Rex Features via AP Images)

The Supreme Court ended its current term this week without deciding the kinds of blockbuster issues that usually draw demonstrators to its plaza at the end of June, but the justices have seeded their next term with high-profile cases.

The addition of Justice Neil Gorsuch in April brought the court back to full strength for the first time in more than a year, and the justices are poised to jump into more contentious and headline-grabbing cases starting in October.

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Partisan Redistricting
Wisconsin case challenges politically motivated gerrymandering

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the Wisconsin redistricting case in October. (Courtesy Phil Roeder/Flickr CC BY 2.0)

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear arguments in a Wisconsin case about partisan redistricting and gerrymandering, taking on a longstanding question that could change the way states draw congressional and legislative districts.

The justices have never fully answered when partisan gerrymanders — or maps that benefit one political party to the detriment of another — could be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court hasn’t weighed in on the issue in more than a decade and could be sharply divided.

League of Women Voters Files Pennsylvania Redistricting Lawsuit
Plaintiffs say case is about “one of the greatest threats to American democracy”

Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan’s district was named in the lawsuit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that the Keystone State’s congressional map was illegally drawn.

“This case is about one of the greatest threats to American democracy today: partisan gerrymandering,” the plaintiffs, which include the group and several voters, wrote in their complaint.