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SCOTUS Redistricting Decision Could Impact How Indiana Draws Lines

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Stats Indiana
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www.stats.indiana.edu

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday upheld the constitutionality of an independent redistricting commission in Arizona, a system that keeps the redrawing of legislative maps out of the legislature’s hands.

That decision could have a major impact on Indiana as lawmakers prepare to examine ways to take some of the politics out of electoral redistricting.

Indiana legislative leaders – both Republican and Democrat – who’ve long supported redistricting reform overcame a major hurdle this year by gaining support for a redistricting study committee. 

Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), one of the backers of the effort, says the committee is well equipped to react to the Supreme Court’s ruling as it prepares a recommendation for the future of Hoosier redistricting:

“That committee is a two-year committee," Bosma says. "They’re charged with taking a long term view of this, with legal counsel at their side.”

Julia Vaughn, executive director of voter advocacy group Common Cause Indiana, says the Supreme Court ruling came as a huge relief to her, because she says it means everything will be on the table when lawmakers study redistricting.

“It allows us to have a full, complete, and thorough discussion about gerrymandering, its impact, and what the solutions to this problem are going to be,” Vaughn says.

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson), a strong proponent of redistricting reform, says the Supreme Court decision paves the way for an Indiana redistricting commission. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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