Democratic nonprofit information fits in three U.S. states as redistricting battle begins By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An indication is seen throughout a promotional occasion for the U.S. Census in Instances Sq. in New York

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By Joseph Ax

(Reuters) – A nationwide Democratic redistricting group has introduced a trio of lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Louisiana, asking courts to arrange to step in if the divided authorities in every of these states fails to agree on new legislative maps.

The litigation, filed after the U.S. Census Bureau launched knowledge on Monday exhibiting what number of congressional seats and Electoral Faculty votes might be allotted to every state for the following decade, is the primary salvo in what is going to probably be a sprawling nationwide court docket battle over redistricting.

The nonprofit Nationwide Redistricting Motion Fund, which is affiliated with former Lawyer Normal Eric Holder’s Nationwide Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), introduced the lawsuits on behalf of a number of particular person voters in every state.

“Whereas these are the primary lawsuits of this new election cycle, let me make this level: these usually are not going to be the final,” stated lawyer Marc Elias, who represents the group and final yr led the authorized marketing campaign to defend Joe Biden’s presidential win.

Each Pennsylvania and Louisiana have Democratic governors who can veto maps produced by their Republican-controlled legislatures. In Minnesota, Democrats maintain the governorship and the state Home, whereas Republicans management the Senate.

The lawsuits ask state courts to set a schedule to take over the method and draw new maps within the probably occasion that state officers attain deadlock.

Elias famous that the redistricting course of is compressed this yr as a result of months of delays on the Census Bureau, and stated the intent of the fits was to make sure courts have sufficient time to supply truthful maps.

Adam Kincaid, the chief director of the Republican counterpart to the NDRC, the Nationwide Republican Redistricting Belief, dismissed the litigation.

“The lawsuits are costly press releases that probably aren’t going wherever,” he stated in an e mail.

Each events are readying for a fierce contest over redistricting, the once-a-decade course of by which states redraw their electoral maps for congressional and state legislative districts based mostly on the census rely.

Texas, Florida and North Carolina – all states the place Republicans have pursued gerrymandering, through which one celebration intentionally manipulates the map to create political benefits – gained a complete of 4 seats within the U.S. Home of Representatives on Monday, when the Census Bureau launched its preliminary 2020 knowledge.

Throughout a briefing for reporters, Holder explicitly tied the approaching battle over redistricting to the continued battle over Republican efforts to put in voting limits in dozens of states.

“I’ve little question that the identical Republican legislators who’ve pushed these payments will now attempt to use the redistricting course of to illegitimately lock in energy for that celebration for the following decade,” he stated.

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