Redistricting

February 16, 2001 • Volume 11, Issue 6
Are minority groups fairly represented in Congress?
By Jennifer Gavin

Introduction

When the U.S. Supreme Court disallowed race as the predominant factor in drafting congressional district lines in its 1995 Miller v. Johnson ruling, Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney, a Democrat whose suburban Atlanta, Ga., district was the subject of the ruling, warned it could lead to “the ultimate bleaching of the U.S. Congress.” (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Doug Mills)
When the U.S. Supreme Court disallowed race as the predominant factor in drafting congressional district lines in its 1995 Miller v. Johnson ruling, Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney, a Democrat whose suburban Atlanta, Ga., district was the subject of the ruling, warned it could lead to “the ultimate bleaching of the U.S. Congress.” (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Doug Mills)

The release of 2000 Census figures last December kicked off one of the fiercest political battles the nation faces: the redrawing of congressional districts based on population changes. The delicate job -- whether by state legislators or members of special commissions -- invariably is accompanied by intense pressure from partisan political interests whose power may shift along with the boundary lines. In addition to partisan considerations, state legislators may redraw boundaries to suit their own political ambitions. And ethnic and racial minorities may push for districts that will ensure them greater political power. Meanwhile, lawsuits from interest groups are likely to threaten virtually any new districts, especially ones where minority groups comprise the majority.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Reapportionment, Redistricting, and Representation
Aug. 25, 2017  Redistricting Showdown
Feb. 25, 2011  Redistricting Debates
Apr. 11, 2008  D.C. Voting Rights
Feb. 16, 2001  Redistricting
Aug. 12, 1994  Electing Minorities
Feb. 15, 1991  Redistricting: Drawing Power with a Map
Feb. 05, 1982  Reapportionment: Year of Decision
Sep. 30, 1964  Reapportionment Struggle
May 03, 1961  Reapportionment in the Courts
Oct. 29, 1958  Unequal Representation
Oct. 10, 1950  Representation in the United Nations
Jan. 03, 1950  Legislative Apportionment
Nov. 08, 1938  Proportional Representation
May 13, 1929  The Census and Reapportionment
Dec. 06, 1927  Apportionment of Representatives in Congress
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Reapportionment and Redistricting
State, Local, and Intergovernmental Relations