Ga. redistricting maps may land in court first

By Aaron Gould Sheinin The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Georgia Republicans may bypass …

Georgia (Jun 27, 2011) — By Aaron Gould Sheinin


Link To Article

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Republicans may bypass the Obama Justice Department and go straight to court after they draw new legislative maps this summer. 

The General Assembly is expected to reconvene in August to consider new district lines for the state's 180 state House districts, 56 Senate districts and 14 congressional seats. The maps are based on detailed population counts from the 2010 Census, the every-10-year process of counting the nation's residents. The Census showed Georgia had grown enough to gain one U.S. House seat.

The once-a-decade redrawing of the state's election map determines which political party dominates and directly impacts representation for tens of thousands of Georgians who will find themselves with new state representatives, senators or members of Congress. With the state gaining a new seat in the U.S. House, more federal dollars could also flow to the state for projects and programs funded by district.

But Georgia is one nine states that must get any change to voting or election law approved by the federal government, as required by the Voting Rights Act. The law says the state may petition either the Justice Department or the federal court for approval, although it's far more typical to start with the DOJ, which can issue a ruling in as little as 60 days.  …    . 

Kerwin Swint, a Kennesaw State University political scientist and former Republican consultant, also thinks the GOP could go straight to court.

"I'm sure they are," he said, "because I think from their point of view that gives them the best chance. Whether that's true or not, that's how they're looking at it, from everything I hear and people I speak to."  … …




A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit