Congressional Redistricting and the Voting Rights Act: A Legal Overview
Congressional Redistricting and the Voting Rights Act: A Legal Overview – L. Paige Whitaker, Legislative Attorney, January 31, 2013
“The Constitution requires a count of the U.S. population every 10 years. Based on the census, the number of seats in the House of Representatives is reapportioned among the states. Thus, at least every 10 years, in response to changes in the number of Representatives apportioned to it or to shifts in its population, each state is required to draw new boundaries for its congressional districts. Although each state has its own process for redistricting, congressional districts must conform to a number of constitutional and federal statutory standards, including the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, as amended…In the 113th Congress, legislation has been introduced that would establish certain standards and requirements for congressional redistricting, including identical bills H.R. 223 and H.R. 278, the John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act, and H.R. 337, the Redistricting Transparency Act of 2013.