The NCSL Blog


By Lisa Soronen

If it feels like your state just finished redistricting, the 2020 census is right around the corner. This term the Supreme Court was busy deciding redistricting cases that came out of the last census. These cases will impact the next set of maps your state draws.

NCSL and the State and Local Legal Center have joined forces to organize a webinar focusing on the four redistricting cases the Supreme Court decided this term. The free webinar will be conducted at noon ET on Tuesday, July 12.

The webinar will of course cover Evenwel v. Abbott, which wasn’t just the biggest redistricting case of the term—it was one of the biggest cases of the entire term. The Supreme Court unanimously preserved the status quo allowing states to apportion districts to meet the requirement of one-person, one-vote based on total population (including non-voters such as undocumented persons and children).

The webinar will also cover more obscure issues such as why three members of Congress from Virginia lacked “standing” to intervene in a lawsuit challenging Virginia’s redistricting plan and when a three-judge court must be convened.

Professor Rick Hasen of the University of California, Irvine, will provide an overview of redistricting law as it relates to the cases discussed in the webinar. Hasen is a nationally recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation, and is co-author of a leading casebook on election law.

Bruce Adelson, Federal Compliance Consulting, and Mark Packman, Gilbert LLP, will discuss the four cases and how they will affect redistricting.

Adelson, a former USDOJ Voting Section Senior Trial Attorney, was the consulting Voting Rights Act expert in Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, involving the constitutionality of Arizona’s 2010 redistricting plan, also decided this term.

Packman wrote NCSL’s Supreme Court amicus brief in the 2014 case of Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, holding that legislatures may be excluded entirely from the redistricting process.

Register here for this webinar.

Lisa Soronen is the executive director of the State and Local Legal Center and writes frequently for the NCSL blog about the U.S. Supreme Court.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.