The Tennessee Senate passed their congressional redistricting plan, which splits up Nashville amongst three congressional districts as well as the senate legislative redistricting plan. Both plans passed the Tennessee Senate by a vote of 26-5.
The Senate version of the State House legislative redistricting plan was reset on the Senate Regular Calendar for January 26 – likely to make sure their version is in line with other chamber’s.
The House Calendar and Rules Committee met on Thursday and placed the congressional and legislative redistricting plans for both the chambers of the General Assembly on the House Regular Calendar for a vote on Monday, January 24. The plans are expected to pass.
The Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee, as previously reported, voted on Tuesday, January 18 to recommend the Senate version of the plan, SB0781, for passage. The vote was 7-2 in favor. Senators voting aye were: Bell, Gardenhire, Lundberg, Roberts, Rose, Stevens, and White. Senators Gilmore and Robinson voted no. This led to the full Senate vote on Thursday.
The @TNGOP supermajority in our state legislature is ramming their rigged district maps through the House & Senate this morning, solidifying their unchecked power in our state for another decade.
These maps dilute minority voting power & rip apart communities.
We will be suing.
Another tweet said:
THE RIGGED GOP SENATE MAP JUST PASSED.
These maps are possible to draw fairly, but @TNGOP chose not to.
Maps drawn by Democratic caucuses comply with the law and are mathematically superior in every way — AND Democrats actually listened to people across our state to draw them.
Sen. Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville-SD19) sharply criticized the maps during the debate, saying “This map hurts me as an African American because it undermines the equal protection of minority voters in ways we haven’t seen in decades. You said it’s legal, but in every single instance with this map before us, Black voters will not be able to choose their candidate of choice.”
Republicans have maintained throughout the process that the proposed redistricting maps comply with both state and federal law, and were drawn fairly.
Republican Lt. Governor McNally (R-Oak Ridge) previously said, “The recommended maps are fair and legal, disturb no currently serving legislator and preserve, as much as possible, current district composition.”
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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Tennessee State Capitol” by Andre Porter CC BY-SA 3.0.