Redistricting happens every ten years, and it is always followed by court challenges, political fights, and incumbents scrambling for a place to run. Here's some of this cycle's more interesting cases of redistricting madness.
The Palmetto State's plan to create a new district along the coast was approved by the Justice Department but is being criticized by state Democrats, the Associated Press reported. The state Democratic Chairman told the AP that hte Justice Department uses an antiquated standard which will not pass U.S. Supreme Court muster, when it comes to race. The chairman, Dick Harpootlian, said the new district improperly masses together black voters to insure a black candidate can win, according the the local Foc affiliate. He said recent elections have shown this is not needed.
Ohio lost two seats following the census. The new map drawn by the legislature has left one well known representative without a home district to run for re-election in--two time presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich now shares a district with fellow long-time Democratic lawmaker Marcy Kaptur. Whichever Democrat wins, they may find themselves facing a celebrity in the general-- Samuel Wurzelbacher, a.k.a Joe the Plumber, has declared his candidacy in the Republican side of the race.
The National Journal reports that this is a fairly straightforward partisan battle. The Republican legislature and Republican governor put together a map that most think protect Republicans and leaves a Democrat, Rep. Gary Peters, without a seat. Rep. Sander Levin, who could face a challenge from Peters, called the plan a Republican gerrymander.
I testified against this map in Lansing and I will actively support every feasible effort to challenge the legality of this decision, said Levin according to the National Journal. If legal challenges are unsuccessful in overturning this map, I will run for reelection in the proposed 9th District, which contains three-quarters of the district that I now represent.
Tea Party darling Joe Walsh--who famously made a video this summer imploring President Obama to quit lying-- found himseld having to switch districts after the new map left him in a heavily Democratic district, The Hill reporter. The Illinois map is facing court challenges.
Walsh, though, said he'd take on fellow Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren.
I understand that there is another Republican Congressman drawn into this new district, Randy Hultgren and it would be unfortunate if we had to run against each other, Walsh said in a statement, according to The Hill. But the new 14th District, if it stands, doesn't belong to any incumbent or any politician. The district belongs to the people of this district and they will have to decide who their next representative is. And if they have to decide between two Republican incumbents, so be it - in many ways Randy and I are both good conservatives who share many of the same values but there are also healthy differences between the two of us.