This bill would restrict congressional redistricting in states before 2020 — requiring all states to create an independent redistricting commission to divide and assign Representatives. The bill aims to keep state legislatures from gerrymandering — the practice of drawing or manipulating congressional districts to favor a political party or economic class.
The independent redistricting commissions for each state would be required to hold their meetings in public and have a publicly available website to publish proposals and data. Commissions would be responsible for developing redistricting plans and submitting them to the legislature after giving public notice seven days before submission.
The state legislature could approve or reject the commission’s plan but would be prohibited from amending it. If a state’s governor doesn’t sign a plan by November 1st of the year before a congressional reapportionment, the commission could pass its plans along to the state’s highest court. If the state court fails to select a plan, the federal district court would be responsible for developing a final redistricting plan.
States would be prohibited from redrawing their districts' boundaries at any time except during the reapportionment that coincides with the Census. Exceptions to this rule would be made if a court orders a state to review its districts to comply with the U.S. Constitution or enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965.