DemDaily: Staking the States

June 20, 2017
Image result for capital of wisconsin

Wisconsin State Capitol

The US Supreme Court agreed this week to hear a Wisconsin redistricting case that could have significant implications for the way congressional and legislative districts are drawn -- and therefore, ultimately, who controls Congress and the state houses.
The case is an appeal of the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin's November 21, 2016 ruling in Gill v Whitford - which found that Wisconsin Republicans violated the US Constitution in 2011 when they "gerrymandered," or skewed, the lines to disproportionately favor the GOP.
 
This is the first partisan gerrymandering case in more than a decade to be heard by SCOTUS which, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, is required to hear and rule on certain voting rights cases.
 
The outcome of the case could be critical to the 2018 elections and - as most maps are drawn by state legislatures - redistricting in 2021.

 

Redistricting is the process of drawing electoral district boundaries for the purposes of electing representatives to a legislative body. State legislatures draw a majority of America's Congressional Districts and Republicans now hold 66 of the 99 state chambers.

Each state determines its own process for drawing electoral lines, with 27 drawn by state legislatures, 12 by an independent or bipartisan redistricting commission, 4 by independent bodies but with final approval by the legislature, and 7 states have only one congressional district so redistricting doesn't apply. Likewise, the five US territories and the District of Columbia, which each send a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives, are also not affected by redistricting.

Each state determines its own process for drawing electoral lines, with 27 drawn by state legislatures, 12 by an independent or bipartisan redistricting commission, 4 by independent bodies but with final approval by the legislature, and 7 states have only one congressional district so redistricting doesn't apply. Likewise, the five US territories and the District of Columbia, which each send a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives, are also not affected by redistricting.

US States: Legislature Control and Redistricting Process
State
House Control
Senate Control
Presidential
Redistricting Process
Alabama Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Alaska*
Democrat
Republican Trump Single District N/A
Arizona Republican Republican Trump Independent/Bipartisan Commission
Arkansas Republican Republican Trump Independent/Bipartisan Commission
California
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton Independent/Bipartisan Commission
Colorado
Democrat
Republican Clinton Independent/Bipartisan Commission
Connecticut
Democrat
Split
Clinton State Legislatures
Delaware
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton Single District N/A
Florida Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Georgia Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Hawaii
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton Independent/Bipartisan Commission
Idaho Republican Republican Trump Independent/Bipartisan Commission
Illinois
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton
State Legislatures
Indiana Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Iowa Republican
Republican
Trump State Legislatures
Kansas Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Kentucky
Republican
Republican Trump State Legislatures
Louisiana Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Maine
Democrat
Republican Clinton Independent Commission /Legislative Approval
Maryland
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton State Legislatures
Massachusetts
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton
State Legislatures
Michigan Republican Republican
Trump
State Legislatures
Minnesota Republican
Republican
Clinton State Legislatures
Mississippi Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Missouri Republican Republican Trump Independent/Bipartisan Commission
Montana Republican Republican Trump Independent/Bipartisan Commission
Nebraska*
Nonpartisan Unicameral
Nonpartisan Unicameral
Trump State Legislatures
Nevada
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton
State Legislatures
New Hampshire Republican Republican Clinton State Legislatures
New Jersey
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton
Independent/Bipartisan Commission
New Mexico
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton
State Legislatures
New York
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton Independent Commission /Legislative Approval
North Carolina Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
North Dakota Republican Republican Trump Single District N/A
Ohio Republican Republican Trump Independent/Bipartisan Commission
Oklahoma Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Oregon
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton State Legislatures
Pennsylvania Republican
Republican
Trump Independent/Bipartisan Commission
Rhode Island
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton Independent Commission /Legislative Approval
South Carolina Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
South Dakota Republican Republican Trump Single District N/A
Tennessee Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Texas Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Utah Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Vermont
Democrat
Democrat
Clinton
Single District N/A
Virginia Republican Republican Clinton Independent Commission /Legislative Approval
Washington
Democrat
Republican
Clinton Independent/Bipartisan Commission
West Virginia Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Wisconsin Republican Republican Trump State Legislatures
Wyoming Republican Republican Trump Single District N/A
*The Alaska House, New York Senate and Washington Senate are governed by coalitions which, despite their majorities, give the other party functional control of the chamber. *Nebraska only has one chamber, which is nonpartisan.

 

Investment now in control of state capitols, and in individual legislative districts, is critical to Democrat's success in the 2021 redistricting process.

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Kimberly Scott
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Sources: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, NCSL, Ballotpedia, NPR

 

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