SCOTUS Redistricting Decision Could Impact How Indiana Draws Lines

Jun 30, 2015

The Indiana legislature plans on launching a two-year study on redistricting reform.
Credit Stats Indiana / 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.