Redistricting

Federal campaign finance rules have restricted how involved federal political committees such as the RNC, DNC, NRCC, and DCCC can be in the redistricting process. As such, the State Government Leadership Foundation, in coordination with the Republican State Leadership Committee, is now the primary conservative organization offering redistricting services to the states. The SGLF has a renowned team of experts assisting state leaders with crafting fair, legal redistricting plans. The SGLF’s experts have been working intently on states that gain or lose Congressional seats, but the guidance and expertise they provide has focused primarily on legislative lines. Our team has assisted in states such as Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Nevada and many other states across the country.

While most states have completed the drafting stage of redistricting, the SGLF’s focus has turned toward litigation. The critical need is to fund litigation in those states where fair, legal lines must be defended.

Liberal interests have multiple multi-million dollar funding sources:

  • The Democratic National Redistricting Trust
  • The National Committee for an Effective Congress
  • Other Union funding

While the SGLF has taken over as the primary conservative organization on the redistricting front, conservatives have not yet developed any such organizations whose main focus is strictly on litigation funding. Liberals are inserting their best litigators and experts into cases all over the nation, while many conservative stakeholders are struggling to fund their court battles. This is where conservatives won many of their redistricting battles in the last two decades, but the national political committees are no longer able to fund these efforts due to federal campaign finance restrictions.

While the liberals claim they have a $17 million litigation fund, conservatives could make a big impact with even a quarter of that amount as conservatives control the public funding sources in many more states than the liberals. Funding these litigation battles is key to ensuring that fair, legal lines are defended and implemented in states across the country.

News & Articles

GOP Senate redistricting plan killed by House speaker

Written by Bill Sizemore and Julian Walker for The Virginian-Pilot on February 07, 2013Redistricting

A controversial plan to tilt state Senate districts in Republicans' favor died at the other end of the Capitol on Wednesday, thanks to a procedural move by Republican House Speaker William Howell that could restore a spirit of cooperation to a sometimes fractious General Assembly. The far-reaching redrawing of Senate district lines was sprung on unsuspecting Democrats last month when the absence of Sen. Henry Marsh, a Richmond civil rights attorney away from the Capitol Jan. 21 for the presidential inauguration, gave the GOP the edge it needed to ram through the plan. That move heightened partisan rancor in the legislature's upper chamber, which is split evenly between the two parties.

Read original article

More Redistricting Ahead in Texas, Maybe Florida

Written by Shira Toeplitz for Roll Call on December 05, 2012Redistricting
A handful of members shouldn’t get too comfortable in the districts where they just won. Those districts might be changing soon.

Texas, Florida and a few other states could have different congressional maps by November 2014.
Read original article

Lawsuit thrown out by state’s highest court upholding redistricting referendum

Written by Hassan Giordano for Examiner.com on August 19, 2012Redistricting
On Friday, Maryland’s highest court tossed out a lawsuit challenging the successful ballot initiative - led primarily by state Republicans – that would allow Maryland voters the opportunity to accept, or reject, the congressional redistricting map drawn up by the democratic governor’s commission.
Read original article

Redistricting proposal undermines a constitutional principle, Ohio State Bar Association says

Written by Joe Guillen for The Plain Dealer on August 08, 2012Redistricting
The Ohio State Bar Association today announced its opposition to this fall’s redistricting reform ballot measure because the association believes the proposal improperly involves judges.

Appellate court judges would be involved in selecting members of the new commission to draw Ohio’s congressional and legislative districts if voters approve the measure.
Read original article

Mississippi legislative redistricting plan submitted to DOJ for approval

Written by Associated Press for GulfLive.com on July 20, 2012Redistricting
Legislative leaders say plans for new district lines for the House and Senate have been delivered to the Department of Justice. House Elections Committee Chairman Bill Denny, R-Jackson, tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that the legislative plan was delivered this week.

The 122 House districts and 52 Senate districts have to be updated after each Census to account for population changes. Between 2000 and 2010, there was significant growth in DeSoto County, just south of Memphis, and it's getting new legislative districts.
Read original article

Kansas redistricting fight looms as campaign issue

Written by John Hanna for Kansas City Star on July 15, 2012Redistricting

Each of Kansas' major political factions want voters to blame someone else for this year's bitter legislative wrangling over redrawn election districts, which ended up in federal court and could stick taxpayers with big legal bills.

Conservative Republicans, their moderate counterparts and Democrats all are working before the November election to get voters to buy their respective narratives about why a Legislature with huge Republican majorities couldn't pass a single new political map to ensure equal representation. The redistricting stalemate led to a lawsuit, and three federal judges ended up redrawing congressional, legislative and State Board of Education districts to account for population shifts during the past decade.

Read original article

Foes of Maryland’s congressional redistricting map reach signature goal

Written by Associated Press for Washington Post on July 11, 2012Redistricting
Enough signatures have been validated to put Maryland’s congressional redistricting map on the ballot for voters to decide in a November referendum, the Maryland State Board of Elections determined Wednesday.

Signatures of 56,323 people had been validated by Wednesday afternoon. Opponents needed 55,736 to put the map on the ballot. Officials found 7,057 signatures to be invalid, and there are still about 2,900 signatures left to be verified.
Read original article

High Court Affirms Maryland's Redistricting Map

Matter Could Still be Put Before Voters on November Ballot

Written by Tricia Bishop for Baltimore Sun on June 25, 2012Redistricting
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed Monday a lower court's ruling upholding Maryland's new congressional redistricting plan, which counts inmates as living at their last-known addresses instead of in their prison cells. But it may not be the last word on the matter.

Some Republican lawmakers opposed to the map, drawn once each decade based on U.S. census counts, have until Saturday to submit the nearly 56,000 signatures needed to put it on the November ballot and let voters decide whether the plan stays.
Read original article

Supreme Court upholds House redistricting plan

Written by Kevin Landrigan for Nashua Telegraph on June 20, 2012Redistricting
The state’s highest court Tuesday unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the state law redistricting all 400 seats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. The Supreme Court rejected the arguments of five lawsuits that maintained the plan ignored a 2006 amendment to the state constitution meant to ensure that town and city wards with a certain population threshold would get their own legislators.
Read original article

Ill. Supreme Court rejects GOP challenge to state legislative remap

Written by Dave McKinney for Chicago Sun-Times on June 08, 2012Redistricting
Without explanation, the Democratic-controlled Illinois Supreme Court Thursday rejected a GOP challenge to new legislative maps drawn and approved by Democratic majorities in the state Legislature.

The case brought by House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) alleged that more than two dozen legislative districts were gerrymandered in a manner to benefit Democrats.
Read original article

Kansas federal redistricting trial concludes

Written by Associated Press for El Dorado Times on May 31, 2012Redistricting
The fate of Kansas' political boundaries is squarely in the hands of three federal judges after two days of testimony wrapped up Wednesday. The judges gave no hint how they would draw the boundaries, but did suggest they would hold themselves to a high standard for population deviation among the districts.

"We will take all of this under advisement," said presiding Judge Kathryn Vratil. "There's nothing on our docket that has higher attention."
Read original article

Alabama Legislature passes redistricting plans

Written by Bob Johnson for Tuscaloosa News on May 24, 2012Redistricting
The Alabama Legislature approved plans that redraw House and Senate districts during an all-night session that saw Democrats claim Republican leaders used strong-arm tactics to gavel the plans, which could give the GOP greater control of the Legislature.

It was after 4 a.m. Thursday when the Senate voted 23-12 to pass a House redistricting plan moments before the House approved a Senate plan by a 62-34 vote.
Read original article

Supreme Court refuses to hear Illinois redistricting challenge

Written by Associated Press for Washington Post on May 21, 2012Redistricting
The Supreme Court will not hear a challenge to redistricting in Illinois despite complaints from the League of Women Voters of Illinois that the new congressional and legislative lines are unconstitutional. The high court on Monday turned away the lawsuit that complained the new congressional and legislative maps are unconstitutional because they assign voters to districts based on their political views and voting histories. A federal court threw out the group’s lawsuit last year.
Read original article

Remap of Pa. legislative districts is slow going

Written by Patrick Cloonan for McKeesport Daily News on May 21, 2012Redistricting
Pennsylvania soon will have new maps of state House and Senate districts but don't expect a decision about those maps this week.

That's according to Charles E. O'Connor Jr., the executive director of the state's Legislative Reapportionment Commission. O'Connor said a 60-day countdown began when a preliminary plan was approved on April 12. "We have to file a final plan by June 13," he said Friday. "We have to meet by June 13."
Read original article

NY top court nixes Senate redistricting challenge

Written by Michael Virtanen for Associated Press on May 03, 2012Redistricting

New York's top court on Thursday rejected a constitutional challenge by state Senate Democrats who claim Republicans improperly used two different formulas to redraw the election map that created a 63rd Senate district upstate.

The Court of Appeals, which took the case on an expedited basis, unanimously upheld a trial-level judge who found that using the different formulas to establish voting boundaries was not unconstitutional. The seven judges concluded "consistent application" of one formula is not required, and lawmakers have latitude in carrying out their state constitutional authority to increase Senate districts based on population shifts indicated by the census.

Read original article

Judge rejects Dems' attempt to put Congressional map on hold during trial

Written by Mary Ellen Klas for Tampa Bay Times on April 30, 2012Redistricting
In what has become a one-two punch today for the Florida Democrats' attempt to put a stop to the redistricting maps drawn by the Republican-led Legislature, a trial court judge on Monday refused their request for an injunction on the Congressional map pending a court review.

Democrats have filed a suit claiming that the Congressional map not only violates the contitutional ban against protecting incumbents and political parties but also unfairly packs black and Hispanic voters into districts to give Republicans an electoral advantage. They asked the court to stop the maps from taking effect this election cycle.
Read original article

Redistricting maps pass review by Department of Justice

Written by Katie Sanders for Miami Herald on April 30, 2012Redistricting
Florida's redistricting maps are ready to be implemented, officials announced Monday.

The U.S. Department of Justice granted Florida's request for administrative preclearance of the maps under the Voting Rights Act, according to a Monday letter from Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez.
Read original article

Redistricting Map Finished

Written by Anne Halloway for VT Digger on April 30, 2012Redistricting
It is finished. Today, the House of Representatives has approved the final reapportionment map that sets the boundaries for the new districts for the decade to come.

The vote was 124-8, in favor. Of the 104 districts, 50 were not changed, according to Rep. Donna Sweaney, D-Windsor, and chair of the Government Operations Committee, which led the effort. The deviation rate is about 18 percent for the House map.
Read original article

Florida Supreme Court approves revised Senate redistricting plan

Written by Paul Flemming for Tallahassee.com on April 27, 2012Redistricting
The Florida Supreme Court today approved a revised state Senate redistricting map.

The second version of political boundaries of the Senate, drawn by the Legislature in special session after the high court rejected the initial attempt, was approved despite objections from the Florida Democratic Party, voter-rights advocacy groups and the NAACP.
Read original article

Arguments begin over redistricting Florida’s congressional districts

Written by Mary Ellen Klas for Miami Herald on April 19, 2012Redistricting

With the election clock ticking, a Florida circuit court judge said Wednesday he will decide quickly on whether to throw out the Legislature’s congressional redistricting map, develop a new map in a matter of weeks or leave it alone.

“I am very much aware of the logistical problem we have,’’ said Judge Terry Lewis of the Second Judicial Circuit, referring to the prospect of invalidating all or part of the congressional map and creating a new one in time for candidates to qualify to run in June.

Read original article

New York redistricting awaits court test, Voting Rights Act scrutiny

Written by Jimmy Vielkind for Timeunion.com on April 18, 2012Redistricting

The bill is signed, the maps are drawn. Redistricting is over — right?

Not quite. There are still several legal hurdles before the once-a-decade process of setting new boundaries for state and federal legislators in New York is completely behind us, including a lawsuit lodged by Senate Democrats.

Read original article

Senate counters attack on its redistricting maps

Written by Miami Herald for Miami Herald on April 13, 2012Redistricting
The Republican-led Florida Senate shot back Friday on the three-barrel attack by the NAACP, a coalition of voters group and the Florida Democratic Party with a 106-page brief that attempts to counter claims that the Florida Supreme Court should reject the second Senate redistricting plan and rewrite it themselves.
Read original article

Brooklyn Federal Court Braces for NY State Redistricting

Written by Reuters for Thomson Reuters News & Insight on March 28, 2012Redistricting
A federal court that recently redrew New York's congressional districts is now preparing for the possibility of intervening in the redistricting process for state legislative elections as well.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed new districts for the state legislature into law on March 15, following the 2010 U.S. Census. The new districts are the subject of several legal challenges, which could require the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to intervene.
Read original article

House Passes Florida Redistricting, Goes to Supreme Court

Written by Bill Kaczor for Associated Press on March 27, 2012Redistricting
The Republican-led Florida Legislature finished its redistricting do-over on Tuesday, sending a revised Senate map back to the state Supreme Court for final action.

The justices affirmed the House's initial 120-district map but kicked back the 40-district Senate plan. If they decide the Senate map again flunks its constitutionality test they can redraw it themselves.

"We put this in pencil," said Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Boca Raton. "The court's going to put this in ink."
Read original article

Justice OKs GOP Redistricting Map in Virginia

Written by David Wasserman for NationalJournal on March 14, 2012Redistricting
The U.S. Department of Justice issued no objections to Virginia's congressional redistricting plan in a letter released Wednesday, granting the necessary Voting Rights Act "preclearance" and all but ensuring that the state's new Republican-drawn map will take effect over Democrats' objections.

The one-page memo caps a disappointing round of preclearance decisions for many African-Americans in the South, as well as for congressional Democrats, both of whom were seeking to expand their numbers this year. At the outset of 2011, both groups had hoped the first ever Democratically appointed Justice Department to preside over a redistricting cycle would block GOP legislatures' efforts to "pack" black voters into as few seats as possible.
Read original article