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2024 House majority runs through the courts

Political Lines on a Map
Thought Leader: Josh Kraushaar
July 16, 2023
Source: AXIOS
Written by: Josh Kraushaar

The outcome of unusual off-cycle redistricting efforts in at least five states — Alabama, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina and Ohio — will play an outsized role in determining which party holds the House majority next year.

Why it matters: Typically, the battle for House control takes place on the campaign trail. In 2024, decisions in state courtrooms will also help determine which party wins control of the lower chamber.

Zoom in: Congressional maps are drawn every 10 years following the census and are intended to last a decade.

Driving the news: A New York appellate court’s decision Thursday to order a redraw of the state’s congressional map — a decision that will be appealed — threatens to complicate House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) tenuous grip on his leadership role.

What they’re saying: “The Appellate Division decision confirms that the New York State Constitution requires congressional district lines be drawn by an independent redistricting commission. In contrast, the current congressional map was drawn by an unelected, out-of-town special master appointed by an extreme right-wing judge, who himself was handpicked by partisan political operatives,” said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Go deeper: A favorable ruling for Democrats in New York would offset an anticipated Republican gerrymander of the North Carolina map, after the North Carolina Supreme Court overturned its recent ruling concluding that partisan gerrymandering is illegal.

Between the lines: The big wild card in the redistricting wars is in Ohio, where the state Supreme Court will soon be determining the future of the state’s newly drawn map.

The bottom line: Gerrymandering has always been part of the political process.

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