Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2015

Posts in "Redistricting"

August 18, 2015

Uncertainty Reigns as Court Takes Over Virginia Redistricting

Federal judges will now decide how to unpack blacks from Scott's 3rd District (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Federal judges will now decide how to unpack blacks from Scott’s 3rd District (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

The same federal three-judge panel that has twice ruled that Virginia’s congressional map unconstitutionally packs blacks into the 3rd District will now be responsible for remedying the injustice it found.

How will the court arrive at a new map for the 2016 elections?

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August 6, 2015

Rep. Corrine Brown Files Lawsuit Against Redrawn Florida Congressional Map

Brown filed a lawsuit to try and stop the implementation of a new Florida congressional map. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brown filed a lawsuit to try and stop the implementation of a new Florida congressional map. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging the validity of a proposed redraw of the state’s congressional map, alleging the draft plan violates the Voting Rights Act.

Brown’s lawsuit comes a day after the state legislature released a draft redistricting plan that completely changes her 5th District — a long, spindly seat that meanders from Jacksonville south to Orlando. The current iteration of the district initially sparked the court case that led the state Supreme Court to throw out the map last month.

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August 5, 2015

Democrats Likely to Gain One House Seat in Florida Redraw

Graham's current House seat will become too Republican-leaning for a Democrat to carry. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Graham’s current House seat will become too Republican-leaning for a Democrat to carry. (File Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Florida Senate released a draft of a new congressional district map Wednesday that, if approved, would likely lead to Democrats netting one House seat in 2016.

The map must still be approved by the state Legislature in a special session, which is scheduled to begin on Aug. 10. But if the map released Wednesday is adopted for the 2016 cycle, Democratic Rep. Gwen Graham and Republican Rep. Daniel Webster are likely to have tough — if not impossible — roads to re-election.

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July 29, 2015

The Software That Draws the Political Landscape

Maptitude for Redistricting

Maptitude’s dominance in the redistricting software market came about nearly by accident. (Photo Courtesy of Caliper Corporation)

Maptitude for Redistricting may not be a household name, but it is dominant in the niche market of redistricting software and is used to literally shape the political landscape.

Its client roster features a majority of state legislatures, two national party committees and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, plus the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, which was upheld in a Supreme Court decision last month.

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July 23, 2015

Ahead of Redraw, Virginia Republicans Jockey for Safe Seats

Brat is one of three Republicans whose district is most likely to change. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brat is one of three Republicans whose district is most likely to change. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Virginia Democrats say their congressional map can’t get any worse.

In a state President Barack Obama carried twice, their party holds just three seats in the 11-member delegation. With a new round of redistricting coming up next month, the question now is which districts get rougher for Republicans. Full story

July 20, 2015

Florida Legislature Called Into Special Redistricting Session

Graham's district is likely to become more Republican in a mid-decade redraw of Florida's congressional map. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Graham’s district is likely to become more Republican in a mid-decade redraw of Florida’s congressional map. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida legislators were notified Monday that a special session will be held Aug. 10 to 21 to approve a new congressional district map.

In a memo to members of the state Legislature, state Senate President Andy Gardiner and state Speaker Steve Crisafulli said a map will be drawn and made public before the legislature convenes for the two-week session, where state legislators will have the ability to debate and amend it.

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July 15, 2015

Florida Redistricting Creates Giant Game of Musical Chairs

Jolly is running for Senate in Florida in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Jolly’s House district is likely to become a Democratic one. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The music has started in a game of musical chairs in Florida that will have sweeping implications for the state’s political landscape.

Republican Rep. David Jolly will likely announce a bid for Florida’s open Senate seat next week, the first implication from the Florida State Supreme Court last week striking down the state’s congressional map. Jolly’s 13th District is likely to favor a Democratic candidate after the map is redrawn, pushing the one-term Republican to enter the already crowded GOP Senate primary to replace GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, who is forgoing re-election to run for president.

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July 9, 2015

Florida Supreme Court Strikes Down Congressional Map (Updated)

Corrine Brown's district was at the center of the court case. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Corrine Brown’s district was at the center of the court case. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:05 p.m. | The Florida Supreme Court struck down a sizable portion of the state’s congressional map, throwing the 2016 elections into a state of disarray.

In a 5-2 decision Thursday, the court ruled the GOP-led redistricting process was “tainted” by partisanship and drawn to favor Republican incumbents. The Legislature has now been tasked with redrawing eight of the state’s 27 congressional districts within, as well as adjacent districts affected by the new lines. Full story

June 29, 2015

Voting-Rights Advocates Get Win at Supreme Court

Monday’s big election law news came from the Supreme Court’s penultimate decision of the term upholding Arizona’s congressional districts.

But before handing down its last three decisions, the court made voting-rights advocates happy by deciding not to review a different election case.

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Supreme Court Upholds Arizona’s Congressional Map (Updated)

U.S. Supreme Court

The court could have thrown elections in Arizona and California into chaos. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:20 a.m. | The Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s congressional map Monday, declaring in a 5-4 ruling the use of an independent redistricting commission that drew House district lines in the 2012 cycle did not violate the Constitution.

If the court had thrown out the state’s map, it could have sent the 2016 elections into chaos in Arizona and it could have had implications for neighboring California’s map, drawn by a similar independent commission.

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June 23, 2015

Parties Gear Up for Crucial Test in Only Competitive Texas District

 

Hurd is one of two African American Republicans in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hurd, left, is one of two African-American Republicans in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The districts that are expected to provide true, edge-of-your-seat general election excitement this cycle are few and far between. One of the biggest — in size and importance — is Texas’ 23rd.

Aside from being Texas’ only competitive race, the district is “also important because it signals an ability for each party to compete,” said Progress Texas Executive Director Ed Espinoza.

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June 9, 2015

5 Congressional Maps That Redistricting Could Change for 2016

The Supreme Court will decide a redistricting case this month with implications for House members in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court is expected to decide a redistricting case this month with implications for House members in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Legal battles over redistricting in nearly a half-dozen states could leave operatives from both parties scrambling to understand a new political landscape in the months leading up to next year’s primary and general-election contests.

The biggest domino in that fight will fall by the end of June, when the Supreme Court is expected to announce whether it is constitutional for an independent redistricting commission to draw Arizona’s congressional map. If the court deems the map unconstitutional, it would upend Arizona’s district lines, and affect other states that also utilize independent redistricting commissions.

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March 2, 2015

Both Parties Monitoring Impact of Arizona Redistricting Case

The Supreme Court's forthcoming redistricting ruling could affect Kirkpatrick's district. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court’s forthcoming redistricting ruling could affect Kirkpatrick’s district. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court appeared divided Monday on an Arizona redistricting case that could have implications for congressional elections beyond the Southwestern state’s borders.

The court heard oral arguments in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, which questions whether independent commissions — rather than state legislatures — have the power to draw the lines of congressional districts.

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January 1, 2015

10 Races to Watch in 2016: Virginia’s 10th District

barbara comstock

Comstock will represent Virginia's 10th District in the new Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A court-mandated redraw of Virginia’s congressional map could have sweeping implications for the delegation — including the new member representing the competitive 10th District, Rep.-elect Barbara Comstock, a Republican.

A judge tossed Virginia’s congressional map in October, ruling the lines drawn in 2012 unconstitutionally packed black voters into the 3rd District held by Rep. Robert C. Scott, D-Va. State lawmakers must draw and pass a new map by April 2015, meanwhile the delegation’s eight GOP members have appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Even slight shifts could alter the 10th District — which includes parts of Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district by a slim 1-point margin in 2012, while President Barack Obama carried it by a 3-point margin in 2008.

Comstock handily defeated her Democratic opponent, Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust, to win the open seat in 2014. It was left vacant when her former boss, GOP Rep. Frank R. Wolf, retired. 

But a new congressional map could either make Comstock’s seat safe for the foreseeable future, or make the district more competitive by including more Democrats from Fairfax County.

Currently, the 10th District is one of the most expensive in the country to run a House campaign because it’s located in the prohibitively expensive Washington, D.C., media market. Even under the new lines, it’s extremely unlikely that will change.

Editor’s Note: Over the two weeks, Roll Call will unveil its Top 10 Races to Watch for 2016. The final edition will run Jan. 2 with the full list. In no specific order, additional races to watch in 2016 include California SenateIllinois Senate, Nevada Senate, North Carolina SenatePennsylvania Senate, Florida’s 2nd District, New Hampshire’s 1st District and New York’s 11th District

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December 16, 2014

House Democratic Losses Deplete Bench of 2016 Senate Recruits

2016 elections

Sweeping House losses have not only pushed Democrats into a historic minority, they’ve depleted the bench of potential Senate recruits for the 2016 elections.

After losing the majority in the midterms, Senate Democrats are seeking strong recruits for 2016 in hopes of netting the five seats necessary to ensure they win control again. Party officials argue the majority is within reach because many Senate Republicans elected in 2010 are seeking re-election in a presidential cycle in competitive states such as Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

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