The legislature released their proposed redistricting for Tennessee’s federal congressional seats. This was a joint effort and announcement between Lt Governor Ron Ramsey and the Tennessee State Senate and Speaker of the Tennessee House, Beth Harwell.
The basic details of the plan, including how it meets federal guidelines and other goals which had to be met are pretty well dealt with in the presser from Lt Governor Ramsey’s office.
From just the presser, it would appear that little or nothing has changed. Until one looks at the map. The first map is the current map from the 2000 census data:
The next map is the proposed redistricting map from 2010 census data:
Without a doubt, there are some serious changes proposed here. Most notable is that the crazy TN-07 district crafted by Democrats is fixed. How bad was the crafting of that district? It just missed making the top 10 worst gerrymandered districts in the US but did make the top of the “Dishonorable Mentions” list.
All in all, however, it looks to be an excellent effort given the strict federal and state strictures put on the process. I’ll hold off official comment on it until I have had a bit more time to consider the impact of the changes. Yet, given that the districts are to be contiguous, not split counties while creating districts exactly equal in population and make sense geographically, at first blush it seems a good effort.
Hopefully any challenges to the districts will be based in law and not politics. But I’m getting ahead of myself …