All-Star Lawyer Moves To Thwart GOP Gerrymandering & Save America

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Three lawsuits have now been filed in key states over the possibility of imminent Republican attempts at gerrymandering following the new release of census data ahead of the legally mandated redistricting process. Redistricting follows each census and entails a redrawing of Congressional and state legislative district lines to better reflect where people actually live and ensure roughly proportional representation. Gerrymandering occurs when partisans involved in the redistricting process manipulate district lines to leave their own supporters in the majority in as many districts as possible.

The three new lawsuits are in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Louisiana, and each case seeks preemptive action by respective courts because of expectations that state leaders won’t be able to settle on a new district map ahead of the 2022 elections. In each one of the states, there’s a level of party division in control of the state governments, with Republicans in control of parts and Democrats in control of other parts, suggesting a potentially difficult path to timely agreement on new district lines outside of the court process.

As summarized by the voting rights organization Democracy Docket regarding the Louisiana case, the new census data “reflects a decade of demographic and population shifts that make the current maps outdated and constitutionally malapportioned,” and therefore, “the plaintiffs are asking the court to permanently stop the use of the current maps, and to establish new maps in time for the next election.” Similar sentiments underlie each case, and voters from the respective states are plaintiffs in all three lawsuits. The cases were announced on Monday, and it’s unclear where they may go from here.

Besides the mandate for new district lines across the country, there’s also a looming change in the number of Congressional districts that certain states are working with. Because of shifts in population recorded by the census, states including Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon are all set to gain one new Congressional district apiece, while Texas is set to add two seats. Meanwhile, states including California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are all set to lose one Congressional district each. These changes will affect states’ role in the presidential election process — the number of electoral college members held by individual states is equal to the number of members of their overall Congressional delegations.