Abstract

Legislative redistricting following the 2010 Census kicked up a deluge of litigation. It did not abate. In several states, redistricting litigation extended throughout the decade, costing taxpayers millions. Factors leading plaintiffs to challenge legislative lines are multifaceted; the reasons redistricting litigation flares (and persists) are complex. One underexamined question is the extent to which process fairness in redistricting impacted redistricting litigation after the 2010 Census. At least in theory, a transparent redistricting process should produce fairer maps less likely to be challenged in court. But fights over maps result from myriad sources--the raw quest for political power, the availability of legal remedies, and other dynamics that process fairness may be powerless against. Still, a review of litigation spanning the last decade reveals that the degree of process transparency did matter in revealing ways, often figuring prominently in judicial assessments of maps. Examining the nexus between transparency and redistricting litigation after the 2010 round provides important insights for line drawers hoping to avoid (or at least improve their chances in) court.

Document Type

Article

Publication Information

71 Syracuse Law Review 1121-1177 (2021)

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Election Law Commons

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