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Redistricting for the US House and the US state legislatures

Jimmy Higgins

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Ohio Governor Goes to Prison for Contempt of Court.

Maybe. I figured all along they would just run out the clock. But what now? Sonny boy is on the court but he is just one vote. For now.

The GOP commission members said during the meeting that they could not find a way to draw maps that complied with all the redistricting provisions of the constitution, while also complying with the rules the supreme court had given in their majority opinion invalidating the previous maps. Mainly, the GOP said they couldn’t hit the target of 54-46 partisan breakdown asked for by the court justices, a number based on statewide voter preferences over the last 10 years.
While my first thought was, “can’t or won’t?”, I think perhaps it is “can’t”. That there may be some psychological disorder that is creating such distress among the Republican members of the ORC that they actually can’t create a map that satisfies the constitutional requirement and the Supreme Court. At least that’d be my argument to fight the contempt charge.
They refuse to do it. They are creating this BS conflict that the Constitution requires one thing and the Supreme Court is requiring another. That is a lie.

They have taken our state hostage. And why not. What can the Supreme Court do? The GOP will seize every square mile of territory they can to make Ohio appear to be redder than Alabama.
 

lpetrich

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North Carolina and Pennsylvania now have maps.

North Carolina's one was approved by a 3-judge redistricting panel that threw out a Republican-proposed map as too biased toward that party. This map adds 1 Democratic and 1 competitive seat and subtracts 1 Republican seat, giving 6 D's, 7 R's, and 1 C (competitive). But the Republicans may appeal this one to the state's Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania's one was approved by the state's Supreme Court, and it subtracts 1 R seat, giving 6 D, 8 R, 3 C.

That leaves 6 states without new maps: FL, LA, MO, NH, OH, WI. Of these, the only one with an update in the last few days is LA. Late last week, the legislature passed a map with 5 R's and 1 D. Gov. John Bel Edwards wants a map that is 4 R 2 D, and he is thinking of vetoing that map.

What Redistricting Looks Like In Every State | FiveThirtyEight
 

Jimmy Higgins

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GOP in Ohio asked for more time to avoid contempt charges from the Ohio Supreme Court, when the GOP decided to say 'screw it'. Of course, their hands are tied, they can't both gerrymander a map and follow the Constitution and the Supreme Court.
 

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Ohio Governor Goes to Prison for Contempt of Court.

Maybe. I figured all along they would just run out the clock. But what now? Sonny boy is on the court but he is just one vote. For now.

The GOP commission members said during the meeting that they could not find a way to draw maps that complied with all the redistricting provisions of the constitution, while also complying with the rules the supreme court had given in their majority opinion invalidating the previous maps. Mainly, the GOP said they couldn’t hit the target of 54-46 partisan breakdown asked for by the court justices, a number based on statewide voter preferences over the last 10 years.
While my first thought was, “can’t or won’t?”, I think perhaps it is “can’t”. That there may be some psychological disorder that is creating such distress among the Republican members of the ORC that they actually can’t create a map that satisfies the constitutional requirement and the Supreme Court. At least that’d be my argument to fight the contempt charge.

You missed a key paragraph in the article:

Article said:
The groups also asked for justification for the commission’s lack of action on any sort of map, despite being presented with a map by the Democratic House and Senate caucuses, which they shot down along party lines on the day of the deadline.

They are saying they can't do something that has been shown to be possible.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Ohio Governor Goes to Prison for Contempt of Court.

Maybe. I figured all along they would just run out the clock. But what now? Sonny boy is on the court but he is just one vote. For now.

The GOP commission members said during the meeting that they could not find a way to draw maps that complied with all the redistricting provisions of the constitution, while also complying with the rules the supreme court had given in their majority opinion invalidating the previous maps. Mainly, the GOP said they couldn’t hit the target of 54-46 partisan breakdown asked for by the court justices, a number based on statewide voter preferences over the last 10 years.
While my first thought was, “can’t or won’t?”, I think perhaps it is “can’t”. That there may be some psychological disorder that is creating such distress among the Republican members of the ORC that they actually can’t create a map that satisfies the constitutional requirement and the Supreme Court. At least that’d be my argument to fight the contempt charge.

You missed a key paragraph in the article:

Article said:
The groups also asked for justification for the commission’s lack of action on any sort of map, despite being presented with a map by the Democratic House and Senate caucuses, which they shot down along party lines on the day of the deadline.

They are saying they can't do something that has been shown to be possible.
It was explicitly clear that it was possible. Heck, they could just use the same darn that exists for the current districts (and get away with it). But no, they want to make it sound impossible, as if the Supreme Court is comprised of idiots. Partisans, yes. Idiots, no.

The GOP went down the road of Mega-Gerrymandering, and slicing away two Democrat seats... when we already only had 4 in a state with 16, that is still purple-ish. And then wave their arms saying 'no one could make a map in this state'.
 

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Ohio Governor Goes to Prison for Contempt of Court.

Maybe. I figured all along they would just run out the clock. But what now? Sonny boy is on the court but he is just one vote. For now.

The GOP commission members said during the meeting that they could not find a way to draw maps that complied with all the redistricting provisions of the constitution, while also complying with the rules the supreme court had given in their majority opinion invalidating the previous maps. Mainly, the GOP said they couldn’t hit the target of 54-46 partisan breakdown asked for by the court justices, a number based on statewide voter preferences over the last 10 years.
While my first thought was, “can’t or won’t?”, I think perhaps it is “can’t”. That there may be some psychological disorder that is creating such distress among the Republican members of the ORC that they actually can’t create a map that satisfies the constitutional requirement and the Supreme Court. At least that’d be my argument to fight the contempt charge.
But then they fail at the competency of being on the commission at all.
 

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Now that we’ve had some primaries
(Article about the outcomes). https://electoral-vote.com/evp2022/Senate/Maps/Mar02.html#item-3

Some of those redistricting efforts show some clarity in Texas:

The lessons here are: (1) It was a pretty good night for progressive Democrats, (2) it's great to be an incumbent, and (3) it's not so great to be under criminal investigation or indictment. The next primaries are on May 3 in Ohio and Indiana. (Z)
There’s some commentary on PA, too.
 

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Ohio now has a map.

It's almost as gerrymandered as the previous map, with 2 D, 11 R, 2 C. Down 1 D, 1 R and up 1 C from the previous map (Ohio lost a seat).

This is much like what Republicans had proposed, though one Republican made one of the competitive seats more R: 2 D, 12 R, 1 C. For their part, Democrats proposed maps like 4 D, 8 R, 3 C.

So 39 states now have new maps, and with 6 one-district states, that leaves 5 states without new maps.

The Florida legislature and Gov. DeSantis are still at loggerheads, and there isn't much new from the other four states, LA, MO, NH, and WI.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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My district was the main change, went from leaning GOP to likely Dem... which is currently definitely Dem. The purple area from my old district now joins with the red district up on the NE corner of the state. And they gerrymandered what was to be my district up north and disenfranchised much of Cuyahoga County. District 9 is nuts because they are drowning out the voters in Lucas County (Toledo).

I had no idea it was possible to pass redistricting reform and to get a more gerrymandered map. 12 of 16 seats seemed pretty damn gerrymandered already. Ohio has had its coup.
 

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Wisconsin now has a map. The state's Supreme Court went with Gov. Evers, a Democrat, rather than with the state legislature, which is Republican-dominated. The court accepted his map for the US House and for the two chambers of the state legislature. He decided on a "least change" approach, meaning that his maps favor the Republicans, but not as much as the Republicans want. Also meaning that he didn't try to gerrymander them in favor of the Democrats.

What Redistricting Looks Like In Every State | FiveThirtyEight
Home Page - All About Redistricting

This means that there are only four states without new maps: FL, LA, MO, and NH. Of these states, NH was last updated Jan 5, MO Feb 8, LA Feb 22, and FL Mar 4. In FL, the legislature has agreed on a two-map approach, a primary one, and a secondary one in case the courts strike down the primary one. But Gov. DeSantis isn't happy with either map, and the courts may get involved.

Having new maps does not mean the end of litigation; some states with new maps have litigation over them: GA, KS, KY, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, PA, SC, TX, WI.
 

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Court rejects GOP redistricting plans in NC, Pennsylvania | AP News
The justices provided no explanation for their actions, as is common in emergency applications on what is known as the “shadow docket.”

While the high court did not stop the state court-ordered plans from being used in this year’s elections, four conservative justices indicated they want it to confront the issue that could dramatically limit the power of state courts over federal elections in the future. The Republicans argued that state courts lack the authority to second-guess legislatures’ decisions about the conduct of elections for Congress and the presidency.
Miscellaneous Order (03/07/2022) - 21a455_5if6.pdf - Samuel Alito
Miscellaneous Order (03/07/2022) - 21a455_5if6.pdf - Brett Kavanaugh
from
Opinions Relating to Orders - 2021 (March: this year)

BK agreed with SA in wanting to revisit the issue of state-legislature supremacy, but he thought that now was too late to do so with the elections soon to be underway.

Looks like they may decide that about whichever other gerrymandering cases make it into their court this year.

Supreme Court Allows Court-Imposed Voting Maps in North Carolina and Pennsylvania - The New York Times
Still, the court’s three most conservative members — Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch — said they would have blocked the North Carolina map because it was likely that the State Supreme Court had violated the Constitution in overriding the State Legislature.

“There must be some limit on the authority of state courts to countermand actions taken by state legislatures when they are prescribing rules for the conduct of federal elections,” Justice Alito wrote.
That makes SA, CT, NG, and BK willing to review the issue.
 

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From US Constitution Article I Section 4,
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.
Some people are arguing that that means that state legislatures are the only ones with the authority to decide on Congressional districts, and not any other parts of state governments: not governors, and not courts.

This is the "independent state legislature doctrine" - The Independent State Legislature Doctrine, Federal Elections, and State Constitutions | Published in Georgia Law Review

Of the SC's current Justices, SA, NG, BK, and CT seem sympathetic to this odd doctrine.
 

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Why Redistricting May Lead to a More Balanced U.S. Congress - The New York Times
Despite the persistence of partisan gerrymandering, between 216 and 219 congressional districts, out of the 435 nationwide, appear likely to tilt toward the Democrats, according to a New York Times analysis based on recent presidential election results. An identical 216 to 219 districts appear likely to tilt toward Republicans, if the maps enacted so far withstand legal challenges. To reach a majority, a party needs to secure 218 districts.
So it's 216 each with 3 tossups.
The relatively fair map is something of an accident. Democrats and Republicans again drew extreme gerrymanders with twisting and turning district lines, denying many communities representation in Congress. Dozens of incumbents were shielded from serious challenges. The number of competitive districts declined.

But, unlike in previous cycles, both parties’ extreme gerrymanders have effectively canceled each other out — in no small part because Democratic lawmakers went to greater lengths to maximize their advantage. And more states are having maps drawn by courts or by nonpartisan and bipartisan commissions than in previous decades, reducing the number of districts drawn to intentionally advantage one party.
FL, LA, MO, and NH still don't have maps, while GA, KS, KY, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, PA, SC, TX, WI are in litigation over their approved maps. Source: 538

From the NYT, how much the R's were ahead:

1992: 23, 1996: 18, 2000:13, 2004: 20, 2008: 13, 2012: 23, 2016: 20, 2020: 11, 2022 (projected): 1

The Republican advantage of the 218th seat, relative to the national popular vote:

2012: +5.7, 2015: +5.5, 2016: +5.9, 2018: +4.6, 2019: +4.0, 2020: +2.0, 2022: +0.6


From 538, the previous map was 148, 33, 46, 52, 156 (strong D, weak D, tossup, weak R, strong R). Adding up the D's and R's gives 181, 46, 208.

The maps so far are 136, 45, 33, 31, 146 with 44 districts to go: 181, 33, 177.

The remaining states are: NH 0, 1, 0, 1, 0 and LA 1, 0, 0, 0, 5 and MO 2, 0, 0, 0, 6 and FL 5, 3, 5, 3, 12 (State House Republicans) with a total of 8, 4, 5, 4, 23 -- NH 2, 0, 2 - LA 1, 0, 5 - MO 2, 0, 6 - FL 8, 5, 15 - Total 12, 5, 27

Adding to those already done gives 144, 49, 38, 35, 169 -- 193, 38, 204
 

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lpetrich will need to use CTRL+Z, Ohio Supreme Court tosses out state map (which likely means U.S. House as well). Vote again was 4-3, which Republican Chief Justice siding with the 3 Democrats. The other three Republicans were all like "butz we needz to have electionz!" and "you can'tz have power grabz".
article said:
The rejected maps could have given the GOP a 54-45 advantage in the Ohio House and an 18-15 edge in the Senate. Those numbers matched the statewide voting preferences of Ohioans, which averaged 54% for Republican statewide candidates and 46% for Democratic ones during the past decade.

But Democrats and voting rights activists argued that Republicans crafted maps that appeared proportional but in reality were anything but. The maps passed without Democratic support, which meant they could only last four years.

Stanford University professor Jonathan Rodden, who analyzed the maps for groups suing over them, wrote that the GOP created "a very hard ceiling" on the number of districts Democrats could win – even in a strong Democratic year.

Republicans contended that Democrats and those suing over the maps were moving the goalposts. At first, those suing complained about the number of Democratic districts that fell below 51%. When mapmakers fixed that problem, Democrats took issue with districts that fell below 52%.
 

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Yes indeed. Several accepted maps are under litigation: AR, GA, KS, KY, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, PA, SC, TX, WI.

In Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed the legislature's Congressional map, saying that it would fail the Voting Rights Act's standards, because it has only one black-majority district out of 6 districts despite that state being 1/3 black. He is a Democrat, and the state legislature is Republican-dominated. Though the map passed with a majority, it is doubtful that the legislature can get the 2/3 fraction needed to override the governor's veto. So this map will end up in the courts.

In New Hampshire, the state senate has passed the state house's map, but Governor Chris Sununu intends to veto it.

Not much new in Florida or Missouri.
 

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Yesterday, as I write this, NH Gov Chris Sununu vetoed his state's legislature's map. His preferred map is one where the state's two districts have almost even partisanship. But he also accepted new maps for the state legislature.

Not much new elsewhere.
 

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The most fascinating thing about gerrymandering, to me, is how blatant the party leaders are about it. It's not even a secret, sitting politicians will look you in the eyes, shrug, and go "well they do it too...." I mean Jesus, they could at least have the common courtesy to lie to us about it! When McConnell blocked the For the People Act from going to vote, he was of course asked why. Rather than explaining the blindlingly obvious with some half-assed justification, he just gave (what for a dyspepsic turtle amounts to) a shit-eating grin to the camera, and said "Because I get to decide what we vote on."

Democracy! :rolleyes:
 

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Judge strikes down Maryland’s congressional map as unconstitutional - because it was gerrymandered
noting
SKM_558e22032510100 - Memorandum-Opinion-032522-SIGNED.pdf
Friday’s ruling in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court by Senior Judge Lynne A. Battaglia says the General Assembly’s congressional map “fails constitutional muster” in various ways.

Battaglia ordered the General Assembly — which is still in session until April 11 — to create a new map by March 30. Then, a hearing on the new map will be held in court on April 1 at 9 a.m.
noting
SKM_558e22032510101 - Declaratory-Judgment-Permanent-Injunction-and-Order-of-Remand-032522-SIGNED.pdf
 

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In Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed the legislature's Congressional map, saying that it would fail the Voting Rights Act's standards, because it has only one black-majority district out of 6 districts despite that state being 1/3 black.
Non-gerrymandered districts are not necessarily going to follow overall population shares. Take a hypothetical where population was evenly distributed. Then it would be impossible to get even one majority black district.

What JBE wants is a gerrymander the way his party benefits. Instead, districts should be drawn up based on objective standards such as compactness and not based of effecting any particular outcome. Note that race is not the only think one could base district lines on - religion, incomes, education levels etc. Should then lines be drawn to make sure that if x% of population is of group X, then x% of districts must be majority X? That would not be practical and I do not see why race should be singled out.

All that said, fairest outcome would be to abandon the idea of single member districts and do proportional representation on a state or regional bases, since some states would be too small for effective proportional representation. They should then be joined to one or more neighboring states for purposes of Congressional representation.
 

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It’d be nice if the courts would find likewise in each of the grossly gerrymandered states.
 

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In Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed the legislature's Congressional map, saying that it would fail the Voting Rights Act's standards, because it has only one black-majority district out of 6 districts despite that state being 1/3 black.
Non-gerrymandered districts are not necessarily going to follow overall population shares. Take a hypothetical where population was evenly distributed. Then it would be impossible to get even one majority black district.

What JBE wants is a gerrymander the way his party benefits. Instead, districts should be drawn up based on objective standards such as compactness and not based of effecting any particular outcome. Note that race is not the only think one could base district lines on - religion, incomes, education levels etc. Should then lines be drawn to make sure that if x% of population is of group X, then x% of districts must be majority X? That would not be practical and I do not see why race should be singled out.

All that said, fairest outcome would be to abandon the idea of single member districts and do proportional representation on a state or regional bases, since some states would be too small for effective proportional representation. They should then be joined to one or more neighboring states for purposes of Congressional representation.
The only determination of an electorate or district should be numeric i.e. each electorate will have N voters, +-%N. When you add religion, incomes, education levels, skin colour etc. you are inviting gerrymandering.
 

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New York gets the smackdown.
article said:
A New York judge has blocked the state's new congressional map, which would have given Democrats the advantage in 22 of the state's 26 congressional seats, from going into effect for violating the state's constitution.
New York is pretty blue, but not Massachusetts Blue, where the rural areas actually vote more for Dems than the suburban!

What isn't fair is that Maryland and New York are being held in check...ish, and Texas and Florida are going gerrymander crazy.
 

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Louisiana now has a map. It is R 5 D 1, like the previous map, and its D district is identical to the previous map's D district, a narrow strip that includes New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Outside that strip, the boundaries shifted somewhat, but the districts didn't become completely reorganized.

That was from the state legislature overriding Governor Bel Edwards's veto.

JH's link fully titled: New York judge blocks 'unconstitutionally drawn' congressional map | CNN Politics

Judge Patrick McAllister ruled Thursday that the map “was unconstitutionally drawn with political bias” by the Democratic-controlled legislature and created no competitive seats. The state legislature has until April 11 to pass a new map and submit it to the court for review, and McAllister further stated that the map had to receive “bipartisan support.”

However, under New York law, the order would be automatically stayed upon appeal, meaning it’s still not clear if the legislature will need to redraw the map before the June primary.
The state's Democratic Party plans to appeal this decision, and if the map needs to be redrawn again, then NY's primaries could be moved from June 28 to as far ahead as August 23.
 

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FL Gov Ron DeSantis has vetoed the legislature's proposed maps.
Special session called for Florida redistricting
At an event announcing a new federal lawsuit against the U.S. government over a public transportation mask mandate, Gov. Ron DeSantis also said he had vetoed the current version of the legislature’s redistricting maps, and would call for a special legislative session on the topic Tuesday afternoon. The governor had already promised to veto the plan twice in the past month.

...
In a joint statement, Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls told lawmakers to be prepared to return to Tallahassee April 19 through April 22 to handle the state’s congressional maps before the coming elections in November.
 

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Non-gerrymandered districts are not necessarily going to follow overall population shares. Take a hypothetical where population was evenly distributed. Then it would be impossible to get even one majority black district.

What JBE wants is a gerrymander the way his party benefits. Instead, districts should be drawn up based on objective standards such as compactness and not based of effecting any particular outcome. Note that race is not the only think one could base district lines on - religion, incomes, education levels etc. Should then lines be drawn to make sure that if x% of population is of group X, then x% of districts must be majority X? That would not be practical and I do not see why race should be singled out.

All that said, fairest outcome would be to abandon the idea of single member districts and do proportional representation on a state or regional bases, since some states would be too small for effective proportional representation. They should then be joined to one or more neighboring states for purposes of Congressional representation.
This is almost all correct! Single-member districts should be abandoned, or at least restricted to a subset of the legislature with other seats chosen via a party-list system.

Whatever excuses are offered for racial districting, the real focus is usually D vs R in the U.S.

By the way, it is a misconception that if R's have 60% of the vote, they should win 60% of the districts. In fact, without deliberate gerrymandering, they "should" win MORE than 60% of the districts ! (I don't know any simple model to predict the number. I'll volunteer to find the actual U.S. numbers if someone supplies links to useful election-result pages.)

How does one even define or quantify "gerrymandering"? Given a state with 11 seats and split 51% R / 49% D, we "should" have 6 Rs and 5 Ds. But with gerrymandering it is possible to get the number of R seats as large as 11, or as small as 1 ! If districts are completely random (e.g. based on SocSec numbers as seriously(!) proposed on one message board) whichever party has 51% will get EVERY seat! (Take a refresher course in statistics if you don't believe this.)

One test I've seen proposed to detect gerrymandering is that, without deliberate gerrymandering, the median district should have a R/D ratio approximately equal to the overall R/D ratio. In our examples (51-49 and 60-40), that means 5 of the 11 districts should have MORE than 51% (or 60%) R, and five of the districts should have LESS than 51% (or 60%) R.

Compact districts were very logical in the olden days when many citizens did not own a horse-and-buggy. But nowadays, it's just noise to prevent certain obvious gerrymanders. And smart data analysts would be able to gerrymander WITH compact-looking districts.
 

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Maryland now has a revised new map, one more Republican-friendly than the original new map.

How Maryland's 8 districts fared:
  • Original: +54, +53, +34, +32, +32, +26, +16, -28
  • New #1: +62, +48, +40, +24, +16, +12, +11, -8
  • New #2: +75, +55, +53, +28, +14, +11, -1, -25
The old one had grotesquely complicated district boundaries, the first new one was somewhat of an improvement, and the second new one is much better.

Turning to Missouri, its House and Senate are at loggerheads over which map to use, and turning to Florida, Gov. DeSantis and the legislature are still deadlocked.
 

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FL Legislature prepares to consider DeSantis' new congressional map; redistricting suit advances - Florida Phoenix - "Little appetite among Democrats to boycott next week’s special session"
Gov. Ron DeSantis produced a proposal for redrawing Florida’s congressional districts on Wednesday — and, as he had promised, it eliminates what he considers to be a “racially gerrymandered” district in North Florida.

That means Florida likely will lose at least one Black member of its congressional delegation. The district at risk is CD 5, which closely resembles the existing CD 3 held by Al Lawson of Tallahassee, which runs for 200 miles from Jacksonville to Gadsden County.

Instead, the governor is proposing two new districts in the Jacksonville region, according to a memo by DeSantis’ general counsel, Ryan Newman. The proposal also adjusts the congressional districts in and around the Tampa region as well as the Orlando region, according to the memo.

Meanwhile, in New Hampshire,
Dave Wasserman on Twitter: "New: NH Supreme Court intends to appoint a special master, Stanford Prof. Nate Persily, to draw a new congressional map *if* the GOP legislature & Gov. Chris Sununu (R) can't agree on a plan by late May. (link)" / Twitter
noting
nh-sup-ct.pdf

Courts sometimes appoint special masters to do various tasks for them.

More broadly, though NH is a small, two-district state, redistricting is contentious there.
 

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A Kansas redistricting map is unconstitutional, a state judge rules - "A Wyandotte County judge strikes down Kansas Congressional map as unconstitutional in a historic ruling"
Wyandotte County District Court Judge Bill Klapper called the maps passed over the veto of Gov. Laura Kelly earlier this year to be "motivated at least in part by an intent to dilute minority voting strength" and said the state courts had the right to take up redistricting cases.

Three lawsuits were filed challenging the map, arguing the new district lines illicitly divide the Kansas City, Kan., area, as well as improperly place Lawrence in the sweeping 1st Congressional District dominated by western Kansas.
However,
AG Derek Schmidt appeals Wyandotte County District Court decision ordering the Legislature to redraw congressional district boundaries

However, in Kansas's Supreme Court, 7 of the 9 Justices were appointed by Democratic governors: Kansas Supreme Court - Ballotpedia

From 538:
The map in question creates three Republican-leaning seats and one highly competitive seat, same as the current configuration. However, it would split up majority-minority Wyandotte County (where Kansas City is located) for the first time since the 1980s, taking the 3rd District from a FiveThirtyEight partisan lean of D+4 to R+3. This will likely endanger the reelection prospects of Rep. Sharice Davids, Kansas’s only Democratic member of Congress.

The map became law in early February despite opposition from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. Republicans in the Kansas Legislature overrode her veto by the skin of their teeth: The override got the minimum 27 necessary votes in the state Senate and one over the required 84 votes in the state House.
 

lpetrich

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New York State's map is now being litigated.

ny-gerrymander.pdf - "A New York state appellate court struck down the state's congressional map as a partisan gerrymander in violation of the state's constitution."

The maps' partisan compositions (strong D, weak D, tossup, weak R, strong R):
  • Earlier: 15-2-3-4-3
  • Recently adopted: 13-7-2-0-4
  • Steve Dunn: 12-3-4-5-2
  • Empire Center: 13-3-3-5-2
  • R's proposal: 12-4-3-4-3

From 538,
The map struck down by the courts was designed to give Democrats a huge advantage in the state and was largely approved along partisan lines in the legislature. The map creates 20 Democratic-leaning seats, only four Republican-leaning seats and two highly competitive seats (both of which tilt toward Democrats themselves).

This is an increase of three Democratic-leaning seats, a decrease of three Republican-leaning seats and a decrease of one highly competitive seat from the old map. If the map survives its legal challenge, it would likely set up Democrats to flip the open Republican-held 1st and 22nd districts, as well as Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis’s 11th District. The map also eliminates a Republican-held seat in central New York.

Two of the proposed alternatives, one from Republican plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the previously enacted map and one from the Empire Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit based in Albany, create 16 Democratic-leaning seats, seven Republican-leaning seats and three highly competitive seats. The third proposal, from Stephen W. Dunn, would create 15 Democratic-leaning seats, seven Republican-leaning seats, and four highly competitive seats. These alternatives are more proportional with how New Yorkers vote.
 

lpetrich

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Looking at the NY maps, the maps by Steve Wynn, the Empire Center, and the Republican litigants all make Staten Island weakly Republican, just like in the previous map, and unlike in the adopted map, which makes that NYC borough weakly Democratic.

There are various other differences between the maps, but I find it hard for me to recognize overall patterns. Most of them make AOC's district, NY-14, much like the previous map's version, but Steve Wynn makes a Bronx that has parts of both NY-14 and NY-15, Ritchie Torres's district. So AOC and RT would be shoved into one district.

Another article: New York's congressional maps were improperly gerrymandered, mid-level court concludes - POLITICO


In New Hampshire, the state legislature offered up another map, one much like its earlier one that Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed.


In Florida is some big drama llama. Ron DeSantis's map gerrymanders out of existence some black-majority districts, and he's now gotten the state legislature to endorse it, despite some fellow Republicans preferring to keep those districts.

Florida Democrats stage sit-in on House floor over congressional redistricting map - "Republicans leave, then reconvene to pass the map over shouts. It’s expected to reduce the number of Black Democratic members in Congress."

Florida approves DeSantis-backed congressional maps that dismantle Black lawmaker’s seat - POLITICO - "The newly approved maps cut in half the number of seats designed to allow Black voters to select a candidate of their own choosing."

I've seen the theory that Gov. DeSantis did this to try to get the Supreme Court to get rid of the last parts of the Voting Rights Act.
 

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Missouri's legislature is still at loggerheads over the state's new Congressional maps. New Hampshire's legislature and governor are still at loggerheads at that state's maps. Kansas's supreme court is to hold hearings on a map for that state.

New York?

The rejected map had 13-7-2-0-4 (strong D, lean D, tie, lean R, strong R)

The proposals: Republicans 12-4-3-4-3, Empire Center for Public Policy 13-3-3-5-2, Steve Dunn 12-3-4-5-2 (two), 12-3-5-4-2, Democrats 12-7-3-1-3, Common Cause 12-5-4-3-2, Wilson Prieve 12-5-5-2-2, Ari Spinoza 12-3-5-3-3

The Democrats' one is very similar to the enacted but now rejected one.

Of the maps before that map, the Democrats had 13-4-3-3-3, 13-5-3-2-3, and the Republicans had 13-2-3-6-2, 14-3-3-4-2,
 

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Florida judge strikes down part of DeSantis House map | The Hill
A Florida circuit court judge on Wednesday struck down elements of a new congressional district map pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), ruling that the version approved by the Republican-controlled state legislature unduly diminished the rights of African American voters in the northern part of the state.

Judge Layne Smith on Wednesday ruled in favor of Democratic plaintiffs, who had sued over map lines that eliminated a historically Black congressional district stretching from Jacksonville west to Tallahassee.

The legislature had initially approved a map that maintained the Black-majority district in north Florida, held by Rep. Al Lawson (D). But DeSantis vetoed that map and insisted the legislature pass his own version, which drew Lawson out of a seat.

Smith cited a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution that requires maps to be drawn in a fair manner.

“I am finding the enacted map is unconstitutional under the Fair District Amendment because it diminishes African Americans’ ability to elect candidates of their choice,” Smith said from the bench.


What Redistricting Looks Like In Every State | FiveThirtyEight
So far, MO and NH are still unapproved and FL, KS, NY have backtracked from approval.
 

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Illinois May Be The Worst Democratic Gerrymander In The Country | FiveThirtyEight - "The worst Democratic gerrymander in the country is arguably in Illinois, as it set off a high-stakes game of musical chairs among the state’s five Republican House members."

What Redistricting Looks Like In Every State | FiveThirtyEight
On May 11, a state judge struck down north Florida’s congressional map, which was drawn by Gov. Ron DeSantis, as unconstitutional because it “diminishes African Americans’ ability to elect candidates of their choice.” In its place, he imposed a map that restores the old configuration of Florida’s 5th Congressional District, which ran from Tallahassee to Jacksonville and where Black people were the largest racial group, but keeps DeSantis’s new central and South Florida districts in place. However, Republicans have appealed the ruling, placing the ruling on hold until a higher court makes a final decision.
The drama llama continues.
 

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Special master Jonathan Cervas has come out with a map. It is 12-4-5-2-3, as opposed to previously enacted 13-7-2-0-4.

It makes Staten Island R+5, it restores the eastern Bronx to NY-14, and it makes NY-05 (N Long Island) D+1.

Jamaal Bowman: Jamaal Bowman on Twitter: "The whole point of redistricting ..." / Twitter
The whole point of redistricting is to create congressional districts that keep communities of interest together. Unfortunately, the map created by the special master splits NY-16’s historically low-income Bronx communities into three congressional districts and decreases the Black voter population by 17%. This occurred despite an outpouring of testimony urging redistricting officials to protect the Black vote by keeping the northeast Bronx with lower Westchester together. The proposal shows that Co-Op City is mapped into NY-14, Williamsbridge and Baychester into NY-15 and Edenwald kept in NY-16. The map data shows that this directly resulted in the Black voter population declining by 17%. Co-Op City, Williamsbrige, and Edenwald are strong communities of interest that must remain together as a unity and connected to lower Westchester. The Black voting power in NY-16 cannot be diluted in favor of more compact but less fair maps.

Edenwald in the Bronx is home to the third-largest public housing community in New York State and one of the largest in the country. The Edenwald community is a vulnerable community that is separated in this proposed map from the other densely populated majority Black communities like Co-Op City, Williamsbridge, and Baychester, whose voting power helps protect these communities’ specific needs around housing, public safety, and poverty alleviation. Similarly, Co-Op city is the largest naturally occurring retirement community in the country predominantly populated by lower-income and Black seniors. By splitting these communities, the map further alienates them and perpetuates the opportunity for further historical neglect by the electoral system. These are communities who have been kept together in maps for decades for good reason and with good intention. Their voting power is directly tied to their lives and they deserve a fair chance at electing representatives that take their unique needs into full consideration. Now, I only have one message for NY-16: I will continue fighting for you, and I will fight to continue to represent you.

I also hope that voters continue to have their voices heard in every elected official that represents them as I intend to continue and advocate for their needs and the needs of every person in NY-16.
AOC didn't have anything to say on this map, though she would certainly appreciate getting back the Bronx's eastern shore.

Melanie D'Arrigo has more to say, however. Melanie D'Arrigo for NY03 on Twitter: "THIS IS OUR DISTRICT TO WIN: My statement on the draft 2022 Congressional Maps 🧵⬇️ (pic link)" / Twitter
was born and raised in the South Shore of Long Island, started my family of in Queens, and now raise my family in Nassau. The new NY-03 Congressional boundaries reflect the community I've spent years organizing in before I ever considered a run for Congress-and I am proud to keep that fight up as we head towards the August 23, 2022 primary.

Let me be clear: This is our district to win. I am the only progressive in this race, the only organizer in this race. and the only grassroots-powered candidate in the race. Already, we a have built a powerful coalition of support centering the issues that matter most to our community: Medicare for All, reproductive justice, and an economy and democracy that works for working families, not corporations. I look forward to continuing my fight for real representation in NY-03-and together, we will win.

Melanie D'Arrigo for NY03 on Twitter: "The new NY maps just made #NY03 a lot more competitive. A "status quo" Democrat will not win here.

If we want to keep this seat 🔵, we need to run Democrats who are fighting for the working people of this district and can rally our base. Please chip in ⬇️ (link)" / Twitter

I think that she has the right idea. Get the base to vote, rather than trying to chase Republican votes.

Also, the NY primary elections have been bumped up two months to August 23.
 
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Drama llama in Florida:
Florida is unsettled yet again.

Looking at New York State again, several incumbents are running against other incumbents. In NY-23, at the southern half of the west end of the state, Claudia Tenney and Tom Reed are running against each other. They are now joined by:
  • NY-17 (upstate NY near NYC): Mondaire Jones, Sean Patrick Maloney
  • NY-12 (mid-Manhattan): Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney
SPM is the head of the DCCC PAC, and he moved from NY-18 (D+2) to NY-17 (D+7).

Neither of them wants the new NY-10, lower Manhattan + part of western Brooklyn.
 

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Missouri now has a map.

After some months of being at loggerheads, the state legislatures decided on a map with only hours to spare in its current session. The state's governor then signed it into law. The new map has 2 solidly Democratic districts and 6 solidly Republican ones.

In Kansas, the state's Supreme Court has endorsed the Republican-legislature map. It endangers Sharice Davids's re-election prospects in KS-03, making it go from D+4 to R+3.

NH and NY still don't have maps.

The accepted maps in litigation: AL, AR, FL, GA, KS, KY, LA, MI, NC, NM, NV, OH, PA, SC, TX, UT
 

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Special master Jonathan Cervas has come out with a map. It is 12-4-5-2-3, as opposed to previously enacted 13-7-2-0-4.
Just based on these numbers, the special master did a decent job making a fairer map.


Jamaal Bowman (via leptrich) said:
The whole point of redistricting is to create congressional districts that keep communities of interest together.
Wrong. That is not "the whole point of redistricting".
The main point is to divide a state into n districts of equal population for proposes of congressional representation.
The "keeping communities of interest" together is one criterion that can be looked at, but it is hardly the most important one, and it certainly is not "the whole point". I would say that having a map that has a good likelihood of accurately representing the will of the voters at large is more important than "keeping communities of interest" together. And NY Dems created a map that deliberately did a poor job in reflecting the actual will of the electorate, giving themselves a partisan advantage in violation of NY law.

Unfortunately, the map created by the special master splits NY-16’s historically low-income Bronx communities into three congressional districts and decreases the Black voter population by 17%.
How does it do that? The black voter population is not changed by redistricting. Or does he mean black voter population of 16 district specifically? Because, as I have pointed out in the other thread, old 16th and new 16th are not the same district. They share a number, and some of the territory, but they are different entities. NY even lost one district, so of course you have to change boundaries quite a bit.
Now looking at the proposed map vs. the old map on the 538 site, I do not see any evidence of malicious carving out of communities of interest. I think Bowman is just sour that he might find himself in a primary battle against a fellow lefty.

back to lpetrich said:
I think that she has the right idea. Get the base to vote, rather than trying to chase Republican votes.
I disagree. Persuasion is better than trying to turn out the base by running to the fringes. Probably electorally, but certainly better for the country.
 

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Jamaal Bowman (via leptrich) said:
Unfortunately, the map created by the special master splits NY-16’s historically low-income Bronx communities into three congressional districts and decreases the Black voter population by 17%.
How does it do that? The black voter population is not changed by redistricting. ...
Its voting power is diluted by being split up among several districts. Derec, why don't you research gerrymandering techniques some time?

As to ensuring that everybody is well-represented, proportional representation is a good way to go. It's a lot more automatic than trying to construct good single-member districts.
Derec said:
back to lpetrich said:
I think that she has the right idea. Get the base to vote, rather than trying to chase Republican votes.
I disagree. Persuasion is better than trying to turn out the base by running to the fringes. Probably electorally, but certainly better for the country.
Tell that to your Republican friends some time.
 

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Its voting power is diluted by being split up among several districts.
At the same time, if the voting power is too concentrated, it leads to many wasted votes.
And all this goes for many other demographics. It is not the role of redistricting to optimize for maximum black voting power.
Is there any evidence that this proposed maps somehow discriminates against black voters in particular? Note that not optimizing for maximum black representation is not the same as discrimination against.

Derec, why don't you research gerrymandering techniques some time?
That's what Dems tried to do, but a majority Dem court invalidated their gerrymandered-to-hell map.

As to ensuring that everybody is well-represented, proportional representation is a good way to go. It's a lot more automatic than trying to construct good single-member districts.
I've been singing that song for a while!

Tell that to your Republican friends some time.
Pox on both their houses!
 

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One simple way to avoid gerrymandering is to have larger, multi-member districts.

If there are two adjacent districts, where the total support for two parties is roughly evenly split, then amalagamating them into a single district with two elected members both eliminates the possibility of a 2-0 or 0-2 split, and ensures that all voters of both parties have a member in their own district from the party they support, to whom they can go for help with issues that affect them.

This amalgamation need not be of just two districts; The Australian Senate is elected with States and Territories each being a single district with twelve members in each State (and two in each Territory). Election is by Single Transferable Vote, and its not uncommon for minor parties to get at least a few of the twelve state seats, while the major parties get between four and six. For example, before yesterday's election, Queensland had six senators from the LNP, three from ALP, two ONP and one Green. That gives a very large proportion of Queenslanders access to at least one Senator who represents them, both in terms of party affiliation, and of geographical representation.

Certainly in areas of higher population density, where a single city or conurbation has multiple representatives, it seems silly not to have multi-member districts with some sort of proportional representation (and I would like to see that for the lower house here as well as the upper).

In the adjecent seats of Brisbane, Griffith, and Ryan, there's a three way split in primary vote between LNP, ALP and Greens; It seems to me that a single district with one member from each party would better serve and better represent the people of these divisions than the more common 3:0:0 split, where the winning candidates all achieved victory by tiny margins on preference allocation, effectively disenfranchising almost two thirds of the total population of the 'super division'.

I suspect that New York City could benefit from a similar amalgamation into multi-member 'superdistricts'.
 
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