Judson Phillips Commentary: The 2020 Redistricting Question No One in Tennessee Is Asking

by Judson Phillips


The 2020 election season is upon us. In August, Tennesseans will go to the polls in August for the primary and in November for the general election. But there is one question, no one is asking candidates and it is a question that should be asked of candidates for the State House and State Senate.

What is that question?

Will you support redistricting that will give the state Republican majorities in the 5th and 9th Congressional Districts?

After the 2010 elections, for the first time, Republicans had complete control of the state legislature. They had the opportunity to make all nine of Tennessee’s congressional districts Republican.

They wimped out.

The Tennessean whined that Nashville had always been in one Congressional district and it should not be broken up. That, of course, meant at solid blue seat. I was told that the GOP was afraid to go after the 9th Congressional District lines because it would trigger a lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act.

That was ten years ago, and thanks to the fecklessness of the GOP, the Democrats have kept two seats in Congress. Both Steve Cohen (TN-9) and Jim Cooper (TN-5), voted for the Impeachment of President Trump. They are solid votes for everything Nancy Pelosi wants to do.

Will the Republicans in the Tennessee Legislature have the guts to do what needs to be done?

To start with the basics, the Republicans in the State Legislature will not do it if they do not hear from the voters that they want this done. Every conservative should be calling their Republican state representative or state senator and telling them, redistricting Cohen and Cooper out of their seats, is the most important issue.

Redistricting the 5th district is probably the easier of the two. The 5th is surrounded by the 4th, 6th and 7th. They are R+20, +24, and +20 respectively. The 5th is only D+7. All the Republicans have to do is stand up to the liberal media in the state that will scream about the loss of Nashville’s Congressional District.

The 9th is a bit tougher. Since Steve Cohen has been their Congressman since 2007, it is hard to see a voting rights lawsuit coming from the Justice Department. Particularly if Republicans redraw the lines and then get behind a good Republican minority candidate. The bigger problem is that the 9th is D+28. It is surrounded by the 7th and 8th, which are R+20 and R+19. It will be tougher to draw those lines to make it a Republican District, though it certainly could be redrawn to make it much more competitive.

But none of this matters, if people are not calling their state representatives and senators. If the Republicans in the legislature do not hear from the people, this will never happen. The current crop of Republican Congressmen will not want their districts watered down because it might make their districts more competitive and they might have to spend more time campaigning.

But if we can flip these two seats, it can help make the difference in taking or keeping the House of Representatives.

And that is the issue every Tennessee conservative needs to be discussing with their state representative and senator.

Make Tennessee Great Again. Make all of Tennessee’s congressional delegation Republican!





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5 Thoughts to “Judson Phillips Commentary: The 2020 Redistricting Question No One in Tennessee Is Asking”

  1. JOHN

    with the way the republican party oppresses the people there should never be a republican in office except thru ignorance of the facts!The republican party is strictly allegiant to the rich and corporatism ,violating moral and civic laws !

    1. Cathy

      The Republican party has already gerrymandered Tenn. to the point that a democrat has no chance. I and my hubby are considering leaving OUR HOME and go to a state that is not blinded, and is a Trump minion.

  2. Norman Bobo

    Excellent points, Judson!

    1. Cathy

      Norman Bobo, how would you feel if your vote never counted again. Democrats live here too, not just bible thumping republicans.

  3. John Bumpus

    If you didn’t know—and many don’t—see U. S. Constitution Amendment XIV, Section 2, the apportionment clause in the first sentence: “Representatives (i.e., U. S. Congressmen) shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, . . .”

    Notice that the operative word is ‘persons,’ not citizens. Thus, aliens living in the U. S., legal or not, are counted to determine how many Congressmen each of the states shall have. Such determinations are NOT made just on the basis of the number of citizens in each state.

    Thus, if U. S. citizens flee high-tax states (i.e., usually ‘blue’ states) and move to low-tax states (i.e., usually ‘red’ states), but that out-migration of citizens from Dem states is more than off-set by the numbers of illegal aliens moving into those Dem states (i.e., ‘sanctuary’ states like California, New York, etc.), the net result is that the Dem states still GAIN representation in the U. S. House of Representatives, AND Presidential Electors in the Electoral College. That’s the law of the land, and has been since July 9, 1868.

    Reapportionment is a zero-sum ‘game.’ Every state gets at least one full-fledged, voting Congressman regardless of its population, however small it may be. And the remaining 385 such Congressmen (i.e., 435 – 50 = 385) are divided proportionally among the fifty states based upon a minimum population amount for each Congressional District.

    See how it works? Dem ‘sanctuary’ states will probably get an INCREASE in Dem Congressmen, and Republican states (i.e., like Tennessee) will lose Congressmen as a result of the 2020 U. S. census! Illegal aliens don’t have to vote to skew the outcome of our Federal elections, even though they probably do that too in some states.