The numbers are in from the official 2020 decennial U.S. Census and confirm that the redistricting plan created behind closed doors and passed with only support of Democrat politicians is both unconstitutional and unlawful.
“I warned that this would be the case as the Democrats’ Map was released to the public in May,” said Assistant House Republican Leader Representative Ryan Spain. “Further, we offered opportunities to work together with advocates to draw a map more reflective of the diversity of this great State. Unfortunately, Illinois Democrat politicians chose to go it alone and now the data confirms their map violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
Spain, and others, believe this development now places the redistricting process to the hands of a bipartisan commission, as described in the Illinois Constitution due to no lawful redistricting plan effective by the June 30, 2021 deadline.
The map drawn and passed by politicians in Illinois (in House Bill 2777) proposed House districts ranging from 92,390 (District 83) to 124,836 (District 5)- a difference of 32,446. Based on a test directed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Evenwel v. Abbott (2016), the maximum population deviation of a plan is the sum of the percentage deviations on the most populated and least populated equality from perfect population equality. The maximum deviation allowed under federal law is 10 percent. The Democrats’ Map in Illinois exhibits a maximum population deviation of 29.88 percent, nearly three times the legal limit.
“Because the Democrats’ plan violates federal law, we have asked the federal court to declare this map void, meaning it was never of any force or effect. The Illinois Constitution is clear that if no valid plan was in place by June 30, responsibility for enacting a plan shifts to the bipartisan Legislative Redistricting Commission,” Spain concluded. “That is the only legally appropriate step at this time.”
- The US Census Bureau released the official 2020 decennial census counts, which is sometimes called P.L. 94-171 data, on August 12, 2021. Those counts were released in “legacy format,” which means that they are capable of being read by computer programs commonly used in redistricting and by demographers and statisticians. The Bureau will release interactive data for public consumption later in September, but the counts will be unchanged.
- Experts and consultants retained by the House and Senate Republican Caucuses computed the population counts for each district in the Democrats’ redistricting plan (H.B. 2777). This is done by overlaying the Democrats’ district boundaries on the population counts.
- This is a simple tabulation. Any qualified person attempting to perform the same calculation will arrive at the same counts by district. Unlike the use of ACS estimates, the Census counts are reported to the block-level, so no manipulation, assumptions, or algorithms are needed.
- The U.S. Supreme Court provided instructions for calculating the so-called “maximum population deviation” in Evenwel v. Abbott(2016), based on an earlier 1975 case (Chapman v. Meier). The maximum population deviation of a plan is the sum of the percentage deviations of the most-populated and least-populated districts from perfect population equality.
- The Democrats’ redistricting plan has a maximum population deviation of 29.88 percent, which is three times the maximum deviation allowed by federal law (10 percent). The least-populated House district is House District 83 (92,390 people), which is 14.91 percent below the average district population, and the most-populated House district is House District 5 (124,836), which is 14.97 percent above the average district population.
- This total deviation of approximately 30 percent is within the range forecasted in the Republican Leaders’ complaint filed in federal court. Based on simulations of the use of 2005-2009 ACS estimates compared to the 2010 decennial census counts, we had forecasted a deviation of at least 23 percent.
- Because the Democrats’ plan violates federal law, the Republican Leaders have asked the federal court to declare H.B. 2777 void, meaning it was never of any force or effect. The Illinois Constitution is clear that if no valid plan was in effect on June 30th, responsibility for enacting a plan shifts to the bipartisan Legislative Redistricting Commission.