New Census Data Sparks Suits Challenging State District Maps

Democrats in three states filed lawsuits challenging the current congressional district maps, claiming they have been rendered unconstitutional by demographic and population shifts as reflected in newly released census data.

Voters in Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Louisiana are seeking court orders to permanently stop the use of outdated maps in any future elections and the drawing up of new maps in time for the 2022 elections.

The Pennsylvania voters said there’s no reasonable prospect its political branches will be able to reach a consensus to enact a congressional district plan. Republicans hold majorities, though not veto-proof majorities, in both chambers of the General Assembly, and Governor Tom Wolf, who has veto power, is a Democrat.

“Given the long and acrimonious history of partisan gerrymandering litigation challenging Pennsylvania’s previous congressional district map, it is clear that Pennsylvania’s political branches are extremely unlikely to agree to a new congressional district plan prior to the 2022 election,” the voters said in the complaint.

Similarly, voters in Minnesota and Louisiana said in their suits that it’s improbable the political branches in those states would be able to agree on a new redistricting plan. In Minnesota, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party controls the House, while Republicans control the Senate and the governor is a member of DFL. In Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is a Democrat, while the House and the Senate are both controlled by Republicans.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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