Here at HUPAC we’re not just anxiously awaiting the King v. Burwell Supreme Court decision. We are also watching some court action that could lead to some congressional map developments. There are several redistricting related court battles going on right now, and their outcomes could throw several key congressional races across the country into flux and impact the way district lines are drawn for years to come. The most significant case went before the Supreme Court in March where the plaintiffs argued that the way the Arizona independent redistricting commission drew the state’s congressional lines in the 2012 cycle violated the elections clause of the Constitution. If the court rules the definition of legislature refers just to the elected legislative body, then the decision would invalidate Arizona’s current map, as well as any other congressional map drawn without input or a sign-off from a state legislature.
In Arizona, such a decision would favor the GOP, as they control the state legislature. It stands to reason that they would draw lines that would favor their party and potentially allow them to up their number of congressional seats beyond the five of the nine they currently hold. On the other hand, the ruling would favor Democrats in California where their map was also drawn by an independent redistricting commission. Democrats have a large majority in the state legislature, which would allow them to gain seats. Currently there are several competitive seats in California and a new redistricting process could make them safe for Democrats. Democrats already hold 39 of 55 California congressional seats.
In a different federal court in Virginia, this week a panel of federal judges invalidated the Commonwealth’s congressional map and ordered the state legislature to draw a new one by September 1. The court ruled that the way the state legislature drew the 3rd congressional district lines, which currently has a population majority of African Americans, amounts to an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. The news is potentially a win for Democrats who are at a historic low point in the House in part because many state legislatures have recently created districts that string together multiple minority population centers. In Virginia, the awkward district ruled unconstitutional snakes along a river between two majority African American cities in Southern Virginia. Party operatives expect the Republican Party to appeal to the Supreme Court, but if they are unable to get the court to take up their case, it could lead to one or two more Democratic seats in Virginia as right now they only hold three of 11 seats.
HUPAC-Did you know?
Online registration for the HUPAC Birthday Party in New Orleans closes on Monday at midnight. All NAHU members and their guest are invited so don't delay in purchasing your $21 tickets online by clicking here. If you miss the deadline, don’t worry, tickets will still be available for purchase at the HUPAC booth on Sunday or at the door of the party for $25. The price of admission includes one drink ticket, appetizers and live entertainment. All proceeds will go to the HUPAC candidate fund. Don't miss out on a fun New Orleans style 21st Birthday Bash! We hope to see you there!