“A federal judge has stopped the 2020 census from finishing at the end of September and ordered the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident to continue for another month through the end of October, saying a shortened schedule likely would produce inaccurate results,” the AP reports.
“Far away from the glare of the presidential campaign, a competition rivaling it in importance is playing out across the country: for power over the redistricting process — and potentially control of the House for the next decade,” Politico reports.
“Republicans dominated the 2010 elections and used their authority over map-drawing to cement a hold on the House for most of this decade. This time, Democrats are poised to claw back some of that power, and the extent of their gains will come down to under-the-radar elections in a pair of GOP-leaning Sun Belt states: North Carolina and Texas.”
“A federal court on Thursday blocked a memorandum signed by President Trump seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted in the census for apportionment, saying such action would violate the statute governing congressional apportionment,” the Washington Post reports.
“A special three-judge panel out of New York wrote that the president’s argument that undocumented immigrants should not be counted runs afoul of a statute saying apportionment must be based on everyone who is a resident of the United States. The judges found that all residents must be counted for apportionment purposes regardless of their legal status.”
Politico: “Intent on not repeating the mistakes of 2010 under then-President Barack Obama, the party is seizing on a once-in-a-decade opportunity to drive the redistricting process — and reverse the built-in advantage Republicans amassed over House district lines after the last census.”
“From Pennsylvania to Texas to Minnesota, cash-flush Democrats are working to win back legislative chambers needed to take control of drawing congressional maps — or at least guarantee a seat at the table. If they succeed, it would correct an Obama-era down-ballot shellacking that handed Republicans House control and resulted in the loss of more than 900 Democratic legislative seats.”
“A trove of documents recently released by the daughter of a deceased GOP strategist includes some clues about what Republicans were thinking almost a decade ago when they redrew Pennsylvania’s congressional maps in a way that was later ruled unconstitutional,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
“The documents, compiled at least partly amid the decennial redistricting that took place in 2011, include a warning that the party ‘got greedy’ in an attempt to create districts favorable to GOP candidates 10 years earlier.”
A cache of computer files saved on the hard drives of Thomas Hofeller, a prominent Republican redistricting strategist, was made public by his estranged daughter yesterday.
Politico: “With New York likely to lose at least one congressional seat, the district held by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could be broken up, forcing her to find a new winning coalition. There’s little love for the disruptive young upstart in Albany, and many state lawmakers would like nothing more than to redraw her out of office. Ocasio-Cortez seems aware of the threat, as she’s been promoting Census sign-ups in her district to ensure that her constituents are fully counted.”
“New state population totals released Monday offer fresh signs of how southern and western states will gain political power after the 2020 census,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Based on Monday’s figures, Texas is poised to gain two congressional seats, and Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon are expected to gain one. Eight states are expected to lose one seat: California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.”
The daughter of Thomas Hofeller, a top Republican gerrymandering expert, says she will upload a tranche of her estranged late father’s files by Monday.
Republicans had sought to keep these documents private in court.
Cook Political Report: “The new map effectively is all but certain to convert a 10-3 Republican delegation into an 8-5 Republican edge – a huge win for House Democrats and a pre-2020 insurance policy for Speaker Pelosi. The biggest losers on the GOP side: Reps. George Holding (NC-02) and Mark Walker (NC-06), whose Raleigh and Greensboro districts become safe Democratic seats.”
Cook Political Report: “Last Friday, North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature passed a new congressional map on a party line vote that would effectively convert the GOP’s current 10-3 seat advantage in the state to an 8-5 advantage (North Carolina’s governor doesn’t have veto power over redistricting plans). But it’s far from over: most strategists in both parties believe courts will draw their own map that could net Democrats even more seats.”
“North Carolina Democrats could gain two congressional seats under a redistricting proposal promoted by Republican legislative leaders Thursday — but some of them say it is not enough,” the Washington Post reports.
“The new map is one of nearly two dozen proposals offered in recent days by state lawmakers, who began redrawing the lines of the state’s 13 congressional districts after a state court ruled earlier this month that the GOP illegally gerrymandered the lines for partisan gain.”
“North Carolina’s 2020 congressional elections must happen under new maps, a panel of judges ruled Monday evening, saying that the current Republican-drawn maps are unfair to many voters,” the Raleigh News and Observer reports.
“The legislature must now redraw the state’s 13 U.S. House districts. The judge — two Democrats and one Republican from different parts of North Carolina — wrote that the maps show signs of ‘extreme partisan gerrymandering’ which ‘is contrary to the fundamental right of North Carolina citizens to have elections conducted freely and honestly to ascertain, fairly and truthfully, the will of the people.'”
“Monday’s ruling, a preliminary injunction, said the state may not hold any elections for Congress using the current maps passed in 2016.”
“The reach of late Republican gerrymandering mastermind Thomas Hofeller may be longer than previously known,” The Intercept reports.
“While Hofeller was known for drawing maps to give Republicans an advantage and to limit the impact of voters of color in North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, and Virginia, the new documents reveal he also participated in the 2010 redistricting cycle in Alabama, Florida, and West Virginia.”
Newly acquired e-mails and records reveal that Republican Party operative Thomas Hofeller may have unconstitutionally used race data to draw congressional districts in 2016, the New Yorker reports.
“Hofeller’s files include dozens of intensely detailed studies of North Carolina college students, broken down by race and cross-referenced against the state driver’s-license files to determine whether these students likely possessed the proper I.D. to vote. The studies are dated 2014 and 2015, the years before Hofeller helped Republicans in the state redraw its congressional districts in ways that voting-rights groups said discriminated on the basis of race. North Carolina Republicans said that the maps discriminated based on partisanship but not race.”
“Hofeller’s hard drive also retained a map of North Carolina’s 2017 state judicial gerrymander, with an overlay of the black voting-age population by district, suggesting that these maps—which are currently at the center of a protracted legal battle—might also be a racial gerrymander.”
Politico: “Democrats were caught napping before the last round of redistricting in 2010 — and it cost them control of Congress for nearly a decade. Now Republicans are warning the same thing could happen to them.”
“Senior Republicans concede they’re at risk of losing dozens of state-level elections that will determine who wields power over the post-2020 congressional map — and potentially which party controls the chamber for the following 10 years. While Republicans are establishing a massive national infrastructure devoted to reelecting President Donald Trump and winning congressional majorities, party officials say the state legislative races are being overlooked.”
Rick Hasen: “This is a huge development that will put the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly in a tough position. Because this is decided as a matter of state constitutional law, it would be very hard to find a federal issue to take this to the United States Supreme Court for reversal.”
Sen. Kamala Harris decried recent immigration raids as part of the Trump administration’s “campaign of terror” that will distort the upcoming 2020 census, Politico reports.
Said Harris: “This administration has directed DHS to conduct these raids as part of what I believe is this administration’s campaign of terror, which is to make whole, whole populations of people afraid to go to work.”