The Look in Brief

Judges order Tennessee Senate redistricting map to be redrawn; trial possible for House plan

By: - April 6, 2022 6:15 pm
New congressional redistricting maps revealed in February. (Photo: John Partipilo

New congressional redistricting maps revealed in February. (Photo: John Partipilo)

A three-judge panel hearing a lawsuit against the state’s redistricting map ordered the state Senate map to be redrawn but allowed the House plan to stand, at least until a trial is held, according to news reports.

In a 2-1 decision, the panel issued an injunction Wednesday against the Senate, ruling it failed to meet a constitutional requirement that Senate seats in the same county must be numbered consecutively.

The panel concluded a trial should be held before injunction relief could be issued on the House plan, according to the ruling.

Made up of Nashville Chancellor Russell Perkins, Bradley County Circuit Judge J. Michael Sharp and Jackson Chancellor Steven W. Maroney, who dissented, the panel ordered lawmakers to come up with a solution in 15 days. Otherwise, the panel will set its own interim plan, according to reports.

The Tennessee Journal reports that the new lines for Republican Sen. Mark Pody’s 17th District seat put it into the Antioch area with Democratic seats numbered 19th, 20th and 21st. Sen. Ferrell Haile’s 18th District was removed from Davidson County, thus they are not sequential.

Three voters backed by the Tennessee Democratic Party sued the state in March over the redistricting plans, claiming lawmakers violated the numbering guidelines with the Senate and split 30 House districts, more than necessary, as part of the plan done every 10 years to equalize districts following the federal census.

The Associated Press reported the judicial panel found the plaintiffs failed to show a “risk of irreparable harm” in opposing the House district plan, though one judge sought to block both plans.

However, that redistricting plan could still be overturned after a hearing is held.

A lawsuit over the Legislature’s congressional redistricting plan, which split Davidson County into three districts, has not been filed.

Chancellors Order


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Sam Stockard
Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard is a veteran Tennessee reporter and editor, having written for the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, where he served as lead editor when the paper won an award for being the state's best Sunday newspaper two years in a row. He has led the Capitol Hill bureau for The Daily Memphian. His awards include Best Single Editorial and Best Single Feature from the Tennessee Press Association.