redistricting

Supreme Court Denies Request to Halt Pennsylvania Redistricting
Current map was thrown out on partisan gerrymandering grounds

Supreme Court justices have denied a Republican request to halt a redrawing of congressional districts in Pennsylvania. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Pennsylvania state lawmakers to halt a redrawing of congressional districts for the 2018 primary and general elections. The state’s Supreme Court had thrown out the current map last month, ruling that it was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

The decision means Pennsylvania will have a new congressional map for the upcoming midterm elections. The primaries are scheduled for May 15.

Pa. Supreme Court Throws Out Congressional Map
Justices want a new map before the 2018 elections

GOP Rep. Ryan Costello’s district was named in the Pennsylvania redistricting lawsuit.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Monday that the state’s congressional map violated the state constitution and a new map must be in place for the 2018 elections.

The plaintiffs, including the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, argued the current map was improperly drawn to benefit Republicans. They alleged Democrats were largely packed into five congressional districts and the remaining Democrats were spread out among the rest. Republicans currently hold 12 of the state’s 18 House seats, with one GOP seat vacant.

Texas Redistricting Case Heads to Supreme Court
Lower court ruling found vote dilution and racial gerrymandering

Shirley Connuck of Falls Church, Virginia, right, holds up a sign representing a district in Texas as protesters demonstrate outside the Supreme Court on Oct. 3, 2017, as the court was hearing a case on partisan gerrymandering. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether Texas must redraw its congressional maps because of gerrymanders, in a case that could have major implications for this year’s elections in the Lone Star State.

The justices announced Friday they will review an August ruling from a panel of three federal judges that the current map needs to be changed because it has intentional vote dilution in the 27th District and racial gerrymandering in the 35th District. Those districts are currently held by Republican Blake Farenthold and Democrat Lloyd Doggett, respectively.

North Carolina Asks Court to Halt Congressional Map Change
Partisan gerrymandering at issue

North Carolina lawmakers have asked the Supreme Court to stop a lower court order that ruled the state needed to redraw its congressional districts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Carolina lawmakers asked the Supreme Court to stop a lower court order to redraw its congressional map ahead of the 2018 midterms, arguing that it could “hopelessly disrupt North Carolina’s upcoming congressional elections.”

In an emergency application, the Tar Heel State lawmakers focused on time constraints — as well as “multiple entirely novel theories” the lower court adopted in Tuesday’s ruling — that struck down the state’s 2016 congressional map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

Supreme Court to Hear Maryland Gerrymandering Case
Republican voters are challenging 6th District lines drawn by Democrats

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Maryland’s 6th District lines. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court late Friday agreed to hear a challenge to the lines of a Maryland congressional district that were drawn by Democrats.  

The court has already heard a partisan gerrymandering case from Wisconsin, where Republicans drew the state legislative map. 

How Governors’ Races Will Shape the Future of Congress
House majority largely depends on who redraws the districts

Tuesday's Virginia gubernatorial race, which includes Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam pictured here, is just one of the many governorships up in the next two years that could have a big effect on Congress next decade. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Virginia governor’s race Tuesday is not the only one that could have an effect on the future makeup of Congress.

Over the next four years, the parties will fight state by state to determine the next decade of congressional power — 36 of those governorships are up next year.

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.