Redistricting 101: Eight facts about redrawing the US political map

Redistricting occurs at least every 10 years, after new Census data determine which states have gained and lost residents. Here's a primer about the process and its consequences.

By , Staff writer

5. Once redistricting occurs, can it be legally challenged?

Yes. As recently as 2006, the US Supreme Court heard a challenge by the League of United Latin American Citizens of Texas to redistricting done following the 2000 Census.

Citing the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the court ruled by a 5-to-4 majority that one district's boundaries – District 23 – had to be redrawn because it diluted the voting strength of the majority population of Hispanics.

Writing for the court majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy also wrote that states could change congressional district boundaries more than once within each 10-year census period. This means, for example, that if a state legislature changes party control, the new majority can order another redistricting that could be to its advantage.

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